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The lymphatic system is made up of vessels and glands.

The lymphatic system is made up of vessels and glands.
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Lymphoma

2-minute read

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. While lymphoma is a serious disease, good treatment options are available.

The lymphatic system is made up of a network of tubes (lymph vessels) and glands (lymph nodes) throughout your body. It collects and filters waste products from the body in a clear fluid called lymph. The lymph also contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection.

Lymphoma occurs when the lymphocytes are damaged. This damage can make them cancerous, which is where they grow and multiply abnormally. When this happens, the abnormal lymphocytes lose their ability to fight off infections.

There are 2 main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They are spread and are treated differently.

The symptoms of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are similar. The most common symptom is a painless swelling in one or more lymph nodes, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

Both lymphoma types are diagnosed by biopsy, where a sample of the affected lymph tissue is tested.

Treatment for lymphoma is usually chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both. If you are having treatment for lymphoma, the choice of treatment depends on:

  • the type of lymphoma (Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin)
  • your age and general health
  • your symptoms
  • whether or not the disease has spread to other areas of the body
  • what you want

If you suspect you or some you know has lymphoma, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Last reviewed: January 2019

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Top results

Lymphoma - Cancer Council Australia

What is lymphoma? Find out about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Hodgkin lymphoma - Cancer Council Australia

Hodgkin lymphoma, sometimes called Hodgkin disease, is a type of lymphoma ? a general term for cancer of the lymphatic system (the various lymph glands around the body).

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma | Cancer Australia Children's Cancers

Information on Non-Hodgkin lymphoma including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Lymphoma - Cancer Pathways

The optimal cancer care pathway outlines critical steps in the patient journey. The pathway describes the optimal cancer care that should be provided at each step.

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma - Cancer Council Australia

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of lymphoma, a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system.

Read more on Cancer Council Australia website

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer information | myVMC

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system's lymphocytes. It may cause anaemia and affect liver function. It is treated with radiotherapy.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Cerebral lymphoma (CNS; brain lymphoma) cancer information | myVMC

Cerebral or brain lymphoma is cancer of the central nervous system (CNS). It may arise in the CNS (called primary CNS lymphoma) or spread from other organs.

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Mediastinal large B cell lymphoma cancer information | myVMC

Mediastinal large B cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or cancer of the lymphatic system. The tumours grow rapidly, causing chest symptoms.

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Hodgkin disease (Hodgkin lymphoma) | Cancer Australia Children's Cancers

Information on Hodgkin disease including risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and support.

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Hodgkin's lymphoma (lymphatic cancer) information | myVMC

Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer affecting lymphocytes of the lymphatic system, most common in young adults. It is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

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