One of the most important organ systems of the human body is the lymphatic or lymphoid system, which is a network of node-like structures located through the body. This system helps filter out bacteria and plays an important role in fighting diseases. However, just like any other organ system in the body, it is also vulnerable to developing cancers. Unfortunately, cancer that affect the lymphatic system can be dangerous, since lymph nodes are located all through the body. And just like leukemia, cancers involving the lymphoid system have the potential to spread.
Cancer of the Lymphoid System
Cancers that affect the lymphoid system are generally called lymphomas; the cells in the lymph nodes uncontrollably multiply, which results in the growth of a cancer mass. The different types of lymphomas are differentiated depending on the type of cell that multiplies and on how the cancer presents itself in the person. There are basically two types of lymphomas: Hodgkin's disease and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Among the two, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the more common type of lymphoma.
Effects and Symptoms
Lymphoma also compromises the immune system of a person, as the cancer can hinder the lymph nodes from performing their function, which is primarily to help the body defend itself against disease. The symptoms of this disease are sometimes hard to determine because some of its symptoms also occur in non-cancer patients. One such symptom is an inflamed or enlarged lymph node, which could also mean that the body is just suffering from an infection.
Lymphomas are treated with some of the same treatments used on other forms of cancer such as leukemia. Some of these treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and bone marrow transplants. All these treatments are aimed at combating the cancer and at relieving some of its symptoms.
Just like other cancers, this cancer is also characterized by an increased growth of abnormal cells; the cells grow into a mass, and the treatments of this disease are aimed at killing these cancer cells and stopping their growth. Fortunately, the proper treatment and early detection of this type of cancer also increases the chances of beating the cancer.