You’ve probably heard the term over and over during the course of your life but never really felt the need to find out what it really means. You know that Hodgkin’s disease or Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a serious health condition but you’re not sure what it is. But now that your lymph nodes are swelling you’re wondering if you need to be seriously concerned, so the first question on your mind is what is non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Two Basic Kinds Of Lymphoma:
There are two basic kinds of lymphoma that you should be concerned with: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the more common type, covers a wide range of diseases that often have a variety of different symptoms and ways of treatment. The specific type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma one person has can be very different from that of another person with the same diagnosis.
T-Cell Or B-Cell:
Lymphomas develop from a specific type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte. There are two different types of lymphocytes, which are the T-cells and the B-cells. Both of these are responsible for killing off infections that enter the body but they do them in different ways. When the lymphocyte turns into a cancerous cell you have either a T-cell or B-cell lymphoma.
When your doctor explains to you what is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he will likely identify it in terms of grade. A high grade lymphoma will have cells that are very different and easily distinguishable from normal cells. High-grade lymphoma cells grow very quickly whereas low-grade cells will look and appear very similar to a normal functioning cell. The intermediate grade will fall somewhere in the middle.
Indolent Or Aggressive:
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can also be described as indolent or aggressive. Indolent lymphoma usually grows slowly and you won’t see very many symptoms however, these cells will often be resistant to treatment and are the most difficult to cure. On the other hand, an aggressive lymphoma grows quite rapidly and can cause quite a few problems but it has a very high chance of being cured and it responds well to treatment, especially if it is caught early.
Nodal Or Extranodal:
When your doctor describes nodal and extranodal lymphoma he is referring to where the cells originated in the body. In nodal lymphomas, the lymphoma originated in the lymph nodes whereas extranodal means that they originated in other places in the body. These could have started in the stomach, the skin, or even the brain.
Understanding what is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can mean a wide number of things. For this reason, it is not always easy to understand and can at times be confusing. However, if you suspect that you have developed some form of lymphoma, your best course of treatment will depend largely on how quickly you are diagnosed and treatment started. The more time you take to get a diagnosis the more difficult the road to recovery will be so it is in your best interest to see your doctor as soon as you suspect something is awry. This way, you’ll have your best chance at a speedy recovery and be back on track of good health.