What is lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that starts in the immune system cells which are called lymphocytes or better known as white blood cells. These cells move throughout the body in a fluid called lymph and work to protect the whole body from infection. Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes transform and start to multiply uncontrollably where then the abnormal lymphocytes collect in the lymph nodes and form a mass of cells, a tumor. The different types of Lymphoma include: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma, Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.
- Painless swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin
- Persistent fatigue
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
Although uncertain of the causes of lymphoma some of the risks include:
- Age – some types of lymphoma are more common in young adults, while most are often diagnosed in people over 55
- Being male
- Having an impaired immune system – more common in people with immune system diseases or people who take drugs that suppress their immune system
- Developing certain infections – this includes Epstein-Barr virus and Helicobacter pylori infection