Cancer and the Lymphatic System

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  • Topic: Cancer, Lymph node, Lymphoma
  • Pages : 2 (558 words )
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  • Published : April 25, 2013
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The lymphatic system is an amazing system of the body which is responsible for cleaning up the messes made by other systems of the body. In doing so, the lymphatic system does several jobs in the body. According to the Cancer Research UK, the lymphatic system is in charge of draining lymphatic fluid back into the bloodstream from the tissues, filters lymph, filters the blood, and fights infections. Unfortunately, as the lymphatic system goes about its regular duties, cancer can appear in the lymph nodes. There are two ways cancer can appear in the lymph nodes of the lymphatic system. Cancer either starts there or spreads from somewhere else.

Cancer that starts in the lymph nodes is called lymphoma.There are many types of lymphoma. One type is called Hodgkin’s lymphoma, “formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease” (Staff). In Hodgkin's lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin's lymphoma progresses, it compromises your body's ability to fight infection. “Doctors know that most Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs when an infection-fighting cell called a B cell develops a mutation in its DNA” (Staff). This mutation causes these abnormal, oversized B cells to bunch up in the lymphatic system. Soon, these mutated cancer cells crowd out healthy cells and cause Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma can further be broken down into four subtypes: Nodular sclerosis Hodgkin's lymphoma, Mixed cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma, Lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are a second type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. This type of cancer is more common than Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “Non-Hodgkin lymphomas begin when a type of white blood cell, called a T cell or B cell, becomes abnormal” (Lymphoma). The cell divides again and again, making more and more abnormal cells. These abnormal cells can spread to almost any other part of...
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