Williams Cancer Institute

Lymphoma

What is Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. It originates in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and can occur in lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood, or other organs.

Causes of Lymphoma
The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing lymphoma, including a weakened immune system, exposure to certain viruses or bacteria, certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and autoimmune diseases.

Symptoms of Lymphoma
The symptoms of lymphoma can vary depending on the type and location of the cancer. Common symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, itching, and difficulty breathing or chest pain if the cancer affects the chest area.

Risk Factors for Lymphoma
Risk factors for lymphoma include age (it is more common in older adults), gender (men are slightly more likely to develop lymphoma than women), having a weakened immune system, exposure to certain viruses or bacteria (such as Epstein-Barr virus or Helicobacter pylori), certain medical treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy), and family history of lymphoma or other cancers.

Prevention of Lymphoma
Since the exact cause of lymphoma is not fully understood, there are no specific prevention measures to avoid its development. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation, and managing any underlying medical conditions, may help reduce the risk of developing lymphoma. Additionally, early detection and treatment of infections or other conditions that weaken the immune system may also help lower the risk. Regular medical check-ups and screenings may also be beneficial for early detection of lymphoma or other health issues.

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