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Understanding Lymphoma - Medical Animation

 

This animation may only be used in support of a single legal proceeding and for no other purpose. Read our License Agreement for details. To license this image for other purposes, click here.

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Understanding Lymphoma - Medical Animation
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: You or someone you care about may have been diagnosed with lymphoma. This video will help you understand more about this type of cancer and how it affects your body. Your lymphatic system is part of your immune system which protects your body from infections and diseases. It's a network of organs and vessels that filter the lymph to remove microorganisms and foreign particles. The filtered fluid returns to your blood. Lymphatic organs such as lymph nodes contain a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. The two main types of lymphocytes are B cells and T cells. Lymphoma is a cancer that originates in lymphocytes. B cell lymphomas are most common. In the lymphatic tissue, the lymphocytes become abnormal and multiply creating more abnormal cells that don't work properly. The two main kinds of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The most common type of Hodgkin lymphoma is Classic Hodgkin lymphoma. The cancer cells in Classic Hodgkin lymphoma are called Reed-Sternberg cells and are usually an abnormal type of B cells. These abnormal cells tend to spread in an orderly manner from one group of lymph nodes to another. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma usually originates in B cells but may originate in T cells as well. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma tends to spread in a less orderly manner through the lymphatic system. Symptoms for lymphoma vary depending on the type of lymphoma and where it is in the body. Sometimes lymphoma has no symptoms but in general, the symptoms of both types of lymphoma may include swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin, fever, night sweats, weight loss, feeling very tired and itchy skin or skin rash. As part of the diagnosis, your doctor will try to find out the extent of the disease and if it has spread, this is called staging. The stages of lymphoma range from one to four and may vary depending on the type of lymphoma. In general, a lower stage means less cancer growth, a higher stage means more cancer growth. The cause of lymphoma isn't known but there are some things that can increase your risk. Being older in age, but a younger age is also a risk factor for some types of lymphoma, infection with certain viruses such as the human immunodeficiency virus, HIV or the Epstein-Barr virus, having a weakened immune system and having a family history of lymphoma. As you deal with a diagnosis of lymphoma, continue to talk to your doctor and your cancer care team.

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