A disease of white blood cells called lymphocytes take to lymphoma, a complex cancer that is often confusing for patients and doctors as well. Its understanding must be completed after the good perception of the terms normal lymphocytes and lymphoma (malignant) lymphocytes and their classification.
Fighting infections, this is the thing that white blood cells, called normal lymphocytes, do. Lymphocytes are divided in B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes, each one of them with different responsibilities. When discovering an infection B cells become plasma cells and secrete antibodies which stick to the infected cells. The other white cells will eliminate the antibodies and the infected particles (also known as antigens) as soon as they recognize it.
T cells can also attack antigens, combat viruses and tumor cells, but they do not secrete antibodies like B cells, their responsibility being resumed at body immunity.
The numerous T and B lymphocytes go through the body in search of antigens to combat. The B and T cells recognize different antigens and when meeting one, lymphocytes divide rapidly and their number increases.
After dividing, the T and B lymphocytes form groups and may cause lymph nodes to enlarge.
Identical lymphocytes form a cell population. These cells, in any way they divide, slowly or rapidly, can cause lymph nodes to enlarge. Unlike normal lymphocytes, lymphoma (malignant) lymphocytes do not mature normally remaining at the stage of development.
In the last decades our questions about lymphoma were answered differently. Science could offer us irrelevant classifications of lymphoma. From 10 to 10 years approximately we receive more and more answers, more detailed and always in change. Lymphoma classification has a strong connection with lymphocyte tumors classification. The last known classification uses the lymphoma cells morphology, phenotype and genotype to determine the type of lymphoma.
The morphology means how malignant lymphocytes look under the microscope. The type of lymphoma lymphocyte can be determined only in labs and refer to unique characteristics. The genotype refers also to a unique characteristic, the DNA of the malignant lymphocytes. Only after these classification tests the diagnosis of lymphoma can be certified.
Just like lymphocytes, lymphomas are divided into two groups: Hodgkin’s disease and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The first group, Hodgkin’s disease, not as common as the second one, is composed of cells known as Reed-Sternberg cells, and a mixture of infected particles. This disease affects young adults, unlike the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that it’s often discovered at people over 60, but fortunately it’s curable in most of the cases.