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Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

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Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins within immune system cells called lymphocytes. Similar to other cancers, lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes are uncontrollably growing and multiplying. These lymphocytes are white blood cells that move throughout the body with the help of a fluid called lymph. There they are transported by a network of different vessels that make up the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system.

The main job of the lymphatic system is to fight off infections or anything else that threatens the body. The lymphatic system consists of different lymph nodes located throughout the body to help monitor the lymph that flows through them. These lymph nodes can be very helpful in predicting signs of possible cancer. The nodes will begin to tenderize and swell when a large amount of microbial organisms collect insides of them, indicating infection. There are two main types of lymphocytes, B-cells, and T-cells. Both are designed to recognize and destroy infections, however, B-cells travel through the body with the infection, while T-cells kill the infection directly. When these cells begin to multiply too quickly, they begin to build up in the lymph nodes, forming a giant mass of cells called a tumor. Once this tumor forms, it begins to grow, invading the space of nearby organs and tissues, cutting off their oxygen supply. If these abnormal lymphocytes travel between lymph nodes, or to other organs, the cancer can spread and metastasize to other regions of the body, making it much more difficult to control and get rid of. Non-Hodgkins is classified and derived from either abnormal B or T-cells and has thirty different subtypes (Clarke 139).

In the United States each year, about fifty-four thousand people are diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, making it the most common type of blood cancer in the U.S (Clarke 138). The symptoms of this disease may be difficult to discover, since often times they...

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