The lymphatic system is composed of lymph vessels and lymphocytes (white blood cells) that are found in your lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, but also in your bone marrow and intestine. It contains a watery clear fluid (lymph) that distributes immune cells throughout your body. The role of this fluid is to assure the natural defense of your organism against microorganisms (viruses, bacteria or fungi), tissues and foreign bodies that invade your body. Sometimes, however, the cells of the lymphatic system can abnormally multiply and cause a medical condition called lymphoma.
Lymphoma is a malignancy that begins in the lymphoid tissue, particularly in the lymph nodes. The lymphoid tissue allows formation of blood cells and cells involving in the immune system. That is, lymphoma affects the entire immune system of your body, making vulnerable to becomes sick.
There are two types of lymphatic cancer: Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma – Hodgkin lymphoma is a malignancy of the lymphatic system observed particularly among older children, adolescents and young adults. It is characterized by the presence of large malignant cells also called Reed-Sternberg cells.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is a heterogeneous group of tumors characterized by abnormal and malignant proliferation of lymphoid cells without the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma includes all malignancies of the lymphoid tissue. These lymphomas develop from T cells or B cells. The B-cell tumors account for 75% of lymphoma cases, and it is more common in developed countries.