Click here to return to the home page.
The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

Blood Cancer Basics

Lymphoma Basics

What is Lymphoma?

The lymphatic system is a major part of the immune system. It is made up of interconnected network of tubes and nodes that carries immune cells such as lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cells.

Lymphoma is a form of cancer that occurs when a lymphocyte in the lymphatic system undergoes a malignant change and begins to multiply abnormally. The abnormal accumulation and production of lymphocytes crowd out healthy cells and make them unable to perform their normal functions. The excessive built-up of lymphocytes create tumours that enlarge the lymph nodes or other parts of the immune system. In some cases, the lymphoma may involve the blood and marrow.

Types of Lymphoma

There are two main types of lymphoma:

  1. Hodgkin's Disease (HD)
  2. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)

What Causes Lymphoma?

It appears likely that a number of risk factors both genetic and environmental contribute to the development of this disease. Possible environmental factors include exposure to certain farming chemicals such as organophosphate, and some viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus and HIV.

However, in most cases of lymphoma, no specific cause can be identified.


^ Top