How Bad Is Lymphoma Cancer

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that impacts the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system. It affects the body’s germ-fighting network.

The lymphatic network includes lymph nodes, bone marrow,spleen, and thymus. The combined action of all these contributes to a strong system that helps the body fight infections and diseases effectively.

Lymphoma is characterized by the abnormal and uncontrollable growth of lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell (WBC). The condition leads to tumor formation.

The severity of lymphoma depends upon its type.Some type scan be treatable while others may have life-threatening consequences.

Types of lymphoma

This type of cancer can affect the body’s immune system response. As a result, such individuals become more prone to diseases. The immune system fails to protect them against infectious germs and pathogens.

Here are two main types of lymphoma cancers:

Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL)

Also known as Hodgkin’s disease, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that impairs the lymphatic system. It is characterized by the presence of large abnormal cells, called Reed-Sternberg cells in the lymph nodes.

These large abnormal cells are multinucleated and are found in lymph nodes. This type of lymphoma cancer is relatively rare. It accounts for about 10% of all lymphoma cases.

The unusual growth typically begins in a single lymph node or a cluster of lymph nodes. This may gradually spread to other parts of the body over time.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma has high cure rates. This is possible, especially during the early stages of the disease. It can be completely curable in case of early detection and prompt treatment.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL)

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that is more common compared to Hodgkin’s lymphoma.The disease is an umbrella term that encompasses a diverse group of lymphomas.

The lymphomas under NHL do not contain Reed-Sternberg cells. Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing this disease.

Individuals with this disease may experience common symptoms including swelling of lymph nodes, night sweats, fever, unusual weight loss, fatigue, itching, abdominal pain or swelling, and symptoms related to compression of the areas surrounded by enlarged lymph nodes.

Which type of lymphoma is dangerous?

The seriousness and dangers linked to the types of lymphoma depend on various factors such as its subtype, the stage at which it is being diagnosed, genetic makeup, and individual parameters such as age, overall health, and response to the treatment.

Compared to the other types, some subtypes of lymphoma are more aggressive in nature. They can rapidly spread or relapse after treatment. While some may grow slowly over time.

Generally, certain subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) are considered to be more aggressive and riskier. The condition may contribute to severe damage to the lymphatic system.

The damage can make the body highly vulnerable to life-threatening infections and diseases. The survival rate is quite low in this type of lymphoma because it is mostly diagnosed during the advanced stages.

Factors that increase the risk of lymphoma

Researchers have not fully understood the exact reason for the occurrence of lymphoma. Here are several factors that may increase the chances of developing this type of cancer:

Genetic factors

An individual’s likelihood of developing lymphoma becomes high due to certain genetic mutations and abnormalities.

Those having genetic syndromes like Down’s syndrome and ataxia-telangiectasia are more prone to the risk of developing lymphoma.


Some infections can potentiate the individual’s risk of developing lymphoma cancer. These infections include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human T-cell leukemia or lymphoma virus (HTLV-1), and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8).

Immune system disorders

Some chronic health conditions such as autoimmune diseases,HIV/AIDS,and organ transplantation, can contribute to the weakening of the immune system. A weak immune system is highly susceptible to lymphoma cancer.


Individuals over the age of 60 are at a greater risk of developing lymphoma cancer. Although the disease can occur at any age, the likelihood of its occurrence is more common among older individuals.

Exposure to harmful radiation

Coming into contact with harmful radiations and poisonous chemicals like ionizing radiations, benzene can prove to be extremely toxic. This might increase your risk of lymphoma cancer. 

Indications of lymphoma

The signs of lymphoma may vary depending on various factors such as subtype, stage, age, location, etc. Some common symptoms include fever, night sweats, enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, itching, skin rash, unusual weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling, chest, and shortness of breath.       

The lowdown

Early detection will prevent the risk of severe damage. Prompt treatment after detection will ensure positive outcomes and speedy recovery.

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