A Brief Guide to Lymph Node Cancer

Did you know that about 5% of all cancers are composed of lymph node cancer? Also known as lymphoma, this condition affects both men and women, commonly within the age range of 15 to 54. Between the sexes though, men are more likely to have it. Lymph node cancer is also known as lymphoma. This pertains to the cancers that start in the lymphatic tissues. The lymphatic tissues include the lymph glands (or nodes), adenoids, tonsils, spleen, bone marrow, and the vessels, which connect them. Although a lot of cancers spread to the lymphatic system in the long run, lymphomas are different because they originate from the system itself.

The two main categories of lymphomas are Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL).

Hodgkin's Lymphoma

This lymphoma is characterized by the presence of the malignant cells known as the Reed-Sternberg cells. It affects about 3 in every 100,000 Americans; mainly between the age range of 15 to 40.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

This type of lymphoma is slightly more common than the first type especially among kids who are below 15 years old. It is typified by the malignant growth of a specific white blood cell or lymphocytes.

High Risk People

Some people have higher risk in developing lymphoma. They are often the ones with serious immune deficiencies or those who have undergone immunosuppressive medications after going through an organ transplant. Those who have also gone chemotherapy or radiation treatments may also have a higher risk in having the condition later in life.


Lymph node cancer may be diagnosed by the doctor during a routine check up or when you set an appointment to have some swollen nodules checked. Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam on you as well as blood and imaging tests. If you have inflamed lymph nodes for no obvious reason like an infection, he or she will observe the nodule if it will continue to grow. If despite after taking antibiotics, the node remains swollen, the doctor would likely perform a biopsy. This can affirm or deny the presence of lymphoma in your system.


Once the doctor diagnoses you with lymph node cancer, he or she will immediately recommend the most effective treatment that you must go undergo. As cancers have stages, the treatment course would depend on how advanced your case is. The methods available for fighting lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, and biological response modifier therapy.

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