Lymphomas are cancers of a specific type of white blood cells known as lymphocytes Acquired Immunity One of the body's lines of defense ( immune system) involves white blood cells (leukocytes) that travel through the bloodstream and into tissues, searching for and attacking microorganisms and... read more . These cells help fight infections. Lymphomas can develop from either B or T lymphocytes, which are two of the main types of lymphocyte. T lymphocytes are important in regulating the immune system and in fighting viral infections. B lymphocytes produce antibodies Antibodies One of the body's lines of defense ( immune system) involves white blood cells (leukocytes) that travel through the bloodstream and into tissues, searching for and attacking microorganisms and... read more , which are essential in fighting off some infections. Lymphomas are similar to other cancers of white blood cells called leukemias Overview of Leukemia Leukemias are cancers of white blood cells or of cells that develop into white blood cells. White blood cells develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. Sometimes the development goes awry... read more .
Lymphocytes originate in the bone marrow and move about to all parts of the body through the bloodstream and through a network of tubular channels called lymphatic vessels Overview of the Lymphatic System The lymphatic system is a vital part of the immune system. It includes organs such as the thymus, bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, appendix, and Peyer patches in the small intestine that produce... read more . Scattered throughout the network of lymphatic vessels are lymph nodes, which house collections of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes that become cancerous (lymphoma cells) may remain confined to a single lymph node or may spread to the bone marrow, blood, the spleen, or virtually any other organ.
The cancerous white blood cells do not function like normal white blood cells so they cannot help the body fight off infections.
The two major types of lymphoma are
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are more common than Hodgkin lymphoma. There are many subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lymphatic System: Helping Defend Against Infection
The following is an English-language resource that may be useful. Please note THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Comprehensive information on blood cancers, including diagnosis, treatment and support