A type of neoplasm of lymphoid tissue that originates in the reticuloendothelial and lymphatic systems.
It is usually malignant but in rare cases may be benign. It usually responds to treatment.
Two main kinds of lymphomas are Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). A third form, Burkitt's lymphoma, is rare in North America but relatively common in Central Africa. A rare form of lymphoma is mycosis fungoides, a chronic T cell variation of the disease affecting the skin and internal organs.
The various lymphomas differ in degree of cellular differentiation and content, but the manifestations are similar in all types. Hodgkin's disease lymphomas tend to affect young adults but usually respond to recently developed types of therapy. The NHL type usually strikes patients around middle age and can be more difficult to treat.
Characteristically the appearance of a painless enlarged lymph node or nodes is followed by weakness, fever, weight loss, and anemia. With widespread involvement of lymphoid tissue, the spleen and liver usually enlarge and GI disturbances, malabsorption, and bone lesions frequently develop.
Men are more likely than women to develop lymphoid tumors.
There has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related NHL, which is attributed to prolonged survival of such patients related to the availability of antiretroviral agents.
Treatment for lymphoma includes intensive radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapies, including interferon and monoclonal antibodies.
The free medical dictionary by Farlex. Linfoma. Internet. Accessed on July 16, 2016.