Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system fights infections and drains excess fluid from body tissues. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a general name given to many types of cancer that develop from white blood cells, called lymphocytes, in your lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is different from Hodgkin lymphoma, a related type of cancer.
In general, non-Hodgkin lymphomas are divided into categories: highly aggressive, aggressive and low grade. They may also be described by the type of cells found within the lymphoma or the pattern of growth within the tissue.
The Lymphatic System
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Lymphoma occurs when lymph cells, or lymphocytes, divide uncontrollably. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. However, if cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.