Joy W. Harrison
January 26, 2015
One deadly form of cancer is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Accounting for about 4 percent of all cancers, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the most common cancer in the United States. (What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, 2015) It is surprising when people are asked if they know what Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is, or have they ever heard of this form of cancer, the response is close to a blank stare. But when asked when is a good time to rotate car tires or get an oil change, they will tell you the exact mileage when both are needed. Many people can say that they have heard of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma better known as Hodgkin’s Disease, another form of Lymphoma, but very few can attest to knowing what Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma really is. Truthfully, most people do not know that it is in fact, a form of cancer of the lymph nodes. This form of cancer kills thousands every year and most have never heard of it. Even though people are not fully aware of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, they need to know what Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is, the cause, who it affects, and treatment. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. This form of cancer starts in cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes, also known as white blood cells, are a part of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are carried throughout the body by the lymph nodes and lymph tissue. Lymphoid tissue is made up of several cells that help the body fight infections. (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, 2015) The combination of B Lymphocytes and T Lymphocytes are in certain organs such as the thymus, adenoids and tonsils, digestive track, bone marrow and as stated before the lymph nodes, and spleen. Because lymphoid tissue is in a considerable amount of the body, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is very deadly. The difference between Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Hodkin’s Lymphoma is a cell and how it presents. Hodgkin lymphoma is named by the a certain abnormal cell that scientists have named the Reed-Sternberg cell.(Mesa, 2015) When doctors examine the cells under a microscope, they look for an abnormal cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. If this particular cell does not appear when classifying the lymphomas, the cancer is named Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. (Mesa, 2015) Lymph nodes are small organs found all throughout the body. For example, lymph nodes are found in the under the skin in the neck, under the arms, and in the groin area. The body needs the lymph nodes to fight infection. Just an idea of their role is that the lymph nodes enlarge when they fight infection. (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, 2015) If ever noticed, when a person goes to see a doctor when they are not feeling well, if the doctor suspects some form of infection, he first checks the size of the lymph nodes in the neck to confirm his assumptions. The Thymus develops the T lymphocytes needed by the body. Also, the bone marrow carries the B lymphocytes both which fight infection. The adenoids and tonsils make antibodies that fight against germs that are breathed and swallowed. When the body is fighting infection the adenoids and tonsils are enlarged and easy to see. No wonder why the first place a doctor checks is the lymph nodes in the neck. It is also likely to be able to clearly see when they become cancerous as well. If the lymphocytes and lymphnodes are compromised, it makes the body vulnerable to other diseases that attack the immune system such as human immonodifiecieny a virus also know as HIV. Most times it is very difficult for doctors to classify non-Hodgkin lymphoma because there are so many types of lymphomas. One system used to classify non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the World Health Organization who groups the lymphomas based on how they look under a microscope, their chromosome features, and the presence of certain proteins on the surface of the cells....
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