Organs that can be affected by non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma   4 comments

Organs that contain lymphoid tissue are the organs that can be affected by the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. Cancer.org explains:

Because lymphoid tissue is in many parts of the body, lymphomas can start almost anywhere. The major sites of lymphoid tissue are:

Lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are bean-sized organs throughout the body that are connected by a system of lymphatic vessels. These vessels are like veins, except that instead of carrying blood, they carry lymph and immune system cells.

Lymph nodes get bigger when they fight infection. Lymph nodes that grow in reaction to infection are called reactive nodes or hyperplastic nodes and are often tender to the touch. An enlarged lymph node is not always a sign of a serious problem. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck are often felt in people with sore throats or colds. But a large lymph node is also the most common sign of lymphoma. Lymph node enlargement is discussed more in the section, “How is non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed?”

Spleen: The spleen is an organ under the lower part of the rib cage on the left side of the body. An average adult spleen weighs about 5 ounces. The spleen makes lymphocytes and other immune system cells to help fight infection. It also stores healthy blood cells and filters out damaged blood cells, bacteria, and cell waste.

Thymus gland: The thymus lies behind the upper part of the breastbone and in front of the heart. Before birth, the thymus plays a vital role in development of T lymphocytes. The thymus shrinks and becomes less important over the first 20 years of life. Despite this, it continues to play a role in immune system function.

Adenoids and tonsils: These are collections of lymphoid tissue located at the back of the throat. They help make antibodies against germs that are breathed in or swallowed. They are easy to see when they become enlarged during an infection or if they become cancerous.

Digestive tract: The stomach and intestines as well as many other organs also contain lymphoid tissue.

Bone marrow: The bone marrow (the soft inner part of certain bones) makes red blood cells, blood platelets, and white blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Platelets plug up small holes in blood vessels caused by cuts or scrapes. White blood cells’ main job is fighting infections. The 2 main types of white blood cells are granulocytes and lymphocytes. Bone marrow lymphocytes are primarily B cells. Lymphomas sometimes start from bone marrow lymphocytes.

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Posted July 5, 2010 by lymphomactivist in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Organs that can be affected by non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

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  1. Thanks for posting this useful info!

  2. Agreed with Harry, your stuff is very useful 🙂

  3. I will link this on my Twitter account! Great post

  4. Half of these things I didn’t even know existed so thanks for posting! Interesting

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