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- Hodgkin's lymphoma facts*
- What is the lymph system?
- What is Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What are the types of Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- How is the staging determined for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What are the stages of Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What is the treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Who are the doctor's who treat Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- How do people get a second opinion for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Clinical trials for treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Targeted therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Radiation therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Stem cell transplantation for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Nutrition during cancer treatment
- What is the follow-up care after treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What other support is available for cancer patients?
What is the lymph system?
The lymph (lymphatic) system helps the body fight infections and other diseases. It's made up of tissue and organs:
- Lymph vessels: The lymph system has a network of lymph vessels. Lymph vessels branch into all the tissues of the body.
- Lymph: Lymph vessels carry clear fluid (lymph). Lymph contains white blood cells, especially lymphocytes such as B cells and T cells.
- Lymph nodes: Lymph vessels are connected to small, round organs called lymph nodes. Groups of lymph nodes are found in the neck, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin. Lymph nodes store white blood cells. They trap and remove harmful substances that may be in lymph.
- Other parts of the lymph system: Other parts of the lymph system include the tonsils, thymus, and spleen. Lymph tissue is also found in other parts of the body including the stomach, skin, and small intestine.
What is Hodgkin's lymphoma?
Hodgkin lymphoma starts in the lymph system, usually in a lymph node. The disease may be found because of a swollen lymph node in the neck, chest, or other areas.
The disease begins when a lymphocyte (almost always a B cell) becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell divides to make copies of itself. The copies keep dividing, making more abnormal cells that build up.
When white blood cells collect around the abnormal cells, the lymph node that contains abnormal cells becomes swollen. Abnormal cells may spread through the lymph vessels or blood vessels to other parts of the body.
Although normal cells die when they get old or damaged, abnormal cells don't die. Also unlike normal cells, abnormal cells can't help the body fight infections.