Lymphoma Overview

What Is It?

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph (or lymphatic) system. It is part of the immune system. It collects and destroys invading organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, and abnormal cells. It protects the body from infection and disease.

The lymph system is a network of tissue, vessels, and fluid (lymph). It includes:

  • Lymph. This clear fluid carries white blood cells, especially lymphocytes, though the lymph system. White blood cells help fight infection.

  • Lymph vessels. These thin tubes carry lymph from different parts of the body to the bloodstream.

  • Lymph nodes. These small masses of tissue store white blood cells. They also help remove bacteria and other substances from the lymph. Lymph nodes are located in the neck, underarms, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and groin.

Lymph tissue also resides in the spleen, thymus gland, tonsils, bone marrow, and digestive system.

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