At Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, it’s important for us to provide our patients and their families with unparalleled expertise in cancer and accompanying radiation treatments. Because September is National Lymphoma Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight the differences between the two main forms of Lymphoma: Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkin’s. Affecting roughly 170,000 new people every year in the US, lymphoma attacks the body’s immune system and is one of the most common forms of cancer.
Encompassing roughly 60 specific conditions, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas affect the lymphocytes, a specific type of white blood cell involved in fighting infections and maintaining the body's immune defenses. Specifically, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas can cause the body to produce too many lymphocytes or prevent the body from getting rid of lymphocytes, causing them to build up in the lymph nodes throughout your entire body. One of the strongest indicators of lymphoma includes these swollen lymph nodes, that typically occur in the neck, armpit, or groin.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are further classified into two subgroups depending on what type of lymphocyte they affect:
- B-Cell Lymphomas: These cancers affect B-cells, the primary producers of antibodies that assist us in fighting off pathogens and other foreign cells in the body. B-cell lymphomas are the most common form of the cancer, comprising some 85% of cases or Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
- T-Cell Lymphomas: Making up the remaining 15% of cases, t-cell lymphomas attack T-cells, which kill pathogens directly when activated. If either of these cancers spread to the bone marrow, they may also be classified as a leukemia, depending on the specifics of the case.
Hodgkin's lymphomas are a far more rare form of the condition, affecting only about 8,000 people in the US every year. Hodgkin's lymphomas are characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, a type of giant cancerous cell that can be seen in biopsies from those infected. Because of its unique physical characteristics, Hodgkin's lymphomas are usually easy to diagnose through a biopsy of the cancerous tissue.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Elko, NV Cancer Treatment Center
While diagnosis with lymphoma or any other form of cancer can be scary, you're never alone in the fight. At Northeastern Nevada Radiation Oncology Center, we've helped patients throughout Elko and the greater Nevada area battle cancer with world-class radiation therapy and an incredible team of healthcare professionals. If you have any questions, please visit our Lymphomas page or complete the form on our Contact Us page.