The lymph nodes, located in various places throughout the body, are responsible for producing the immune cells that the body uses to fight infection. In combination with a network of organs, ducts, and vessels, these nodes compose what is known as the lymphatic system. Lymphoma is the name for the cancers that develop in this system. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Read on to learn more about these two forms of lymphoma and some of the treatment options offered by South Florida Radiation Oncology.
Named for Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, the first physician who noted cancer in the lymph nodes, this form of lymphoma originates in the white blood cells. When caught in time, Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Although the condition was traditionally treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, therapies such as TrueBeam STx and Rapid Arc are being used more often due to their ability to target cancerous lymph nodes without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue. Since the affected lymph nodes can be located near critical organs, such as the lungs and heart, the precision of these new technologies is vital for optimal results.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is far more common than the Hodgkin type and contains many different subtypes. Like Hodgkin lymphoma, these cancers begin in the white blood cells (lymphocytes). Their behavior, appearance under a microscope, and response to treatment are very distinctive, however. A physician can determine that a lymphatic cancer is of the non-Hodgkin type if it lacks a certain type of cell known as a Reed-Sternberg cell. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is treated similarly to the Hodgkin type.
At South Florida Radiation Oncology, we understand that receiving a cancer diagnosis can be stressful and overwhelming. For this reason, our multidisciplinary team of medical professionals strives to provide the best possible outcome for each patient using the most advanced treatment options available. To learn more about staying healthy throughout cancer treatment, subscribe to the South Florida Radiation Oncology blog or speak with one of our staff members by calling (888) 823-9162.