Lymphoma is the name of a diverse group of cancers of the lymphatic system, a connecting network of glands, organs and vessels whose principle cell is the lymphocyte.
When lymphoma occurs, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally. They divide too rapidly and grow without any order or control. Too much tissue is formed and tumors begin to grow. Because there is lymph tissue in many parts of the body, the cancer cells may involve the liver, spleen, or bone marrow.
Two general types of lymphoma are commonly recognized: Hodgkin's disease or Hodgkin's lymphoma (HD), and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). The two are distinguished by cell type. These differ significantly in respect of their natural histories and their response to therapy. Hodgkin's disease tends to be primarily of nodal origin. Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, unlike HD, can spread beyond the lymphatic system.
See Also AIDS-related cancers