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The lymphatic system consists of a special class of cells, the lymphocytes

The lymphatic system that runs throughout the human body is made up of a special class of cells, lymphocytes, which normally participate in fighting infections. Lymphoma is a malignancy of the lymphatic tissue in which the lymphocytes are abnormal and unable to perform their normal function, while they multiply uncontrollably and are deposited in various organs of the body and mainly in the lymph nodes which they swell.

Types of lymphomas

Lymphomas fall into two broad distinct categories

Hodgkin's lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas

Each of the above categories is divided into further subcategories depending on their histological subtype.


Hodgkin's lymphoma

2-4 new cases occur per 100,000 population per year. The incidence follows an age-related undulating course with an increase in incidence in the 15-34 age group, followed by a decrease and an increase again after the age of 50. It occurs more often in men, 5% is familial, while an increased incidence is observed after infection with viruses such as Infectious Mononucleosis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus .

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

10-12 new cases occur per 100,000 population per year. It accounts for 4% of all neoplasms and is more common in men. The incidence increases with age, especially over the age of 40, and is the 6th cause of death among malignant diseases in women and the 9th cause in men. Risk factors are:

  • Viral infections such as Helicobacter pylori (HP), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Human T-Lymphotropic Virus 1 and 2 (HTLV-1, HTLV-2) etc.

  • History of congenital immunodeficiency.

  • History of autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus).


Symptoms are common to both types of lymphoma. The main and most common symptom is lymph node swelling. Lymph nodes cannot be distinguished from the skin and rarely cause pain. Common locations where one can see or feel swollen lymph nodes are the cervix (neck), armpits, and groin areas. Swollen lymph nodes appear, in addition to the periphery of the body and internally, causing additional symptoms such as e.g. shortness of breath (in the case of enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes). Splenic enlargement is also common, which can cause a feeling of heaviness or pain in the left side of the abdomen. Other symptoms are fever, night sweats, itching, fatigue and weight loss.


Hematological and imaging tests are necessary, while the diagnosis is made after a biopsy of a lymph node or affected organ, which will certify the exact type of lymphoma. Due to the possible involvement of the bone marrow, a bone marrow biopsy is also necessary.


The therapeutic quiver for lymphomas includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation. Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation after Megatherapy is successfully applied where there is an indication. Some types of lymphomas that have a slow course and do not cause symptoms do not need treatment in the first place.


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