Joined: 02 September 2006
Lymphoma refers to cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which includes the lymph nodes, thymus, spleen, adenoids, tonsils, and bone marrow. The lymph system functions in the body by fighting off germs that cause infection and illness. Most teens with lymphoma have either Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymph tissue) or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer of the cells of the immune system that circulate throughout the body).
Hodgkin's disease usually occurs in adolescents and young adults. It can show up in lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, chest, or other places. The lymph nodes become enlarged but are usually not painful. Hodgkin's disease is identified by large, unusual cells called Reed-Sternberg cells that are detected under a microscope after a biopsy, a procedure in which a doctor removes a small tissue sample to examine it for cancer cells. Chemotherapy and often radiation are used to treat Hodgkin's disease.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is similar to leukemia (ALL) because both involve malignant lymphocytes (pronounced: lim-fuh-sytes), white blood cells found in lymph nodes, and because many of the symptoms of these diseases are the same. NHL is usually treated with chemotherapy.
Most teens with Hodgkin's disease or NHL who have completed their treatment achieve a complete remission with no signs of the disease.