When sickness or infection invades the body, the immune system is the first line of defense. A big part of that defense is the lymph system.
Lymph is a transparent fluid containing white blood cells, which help fight infection. The main types of white blood cells are lymphocytes. Lymph is carried through the body by lymph vessels that have valves and muscles to help move the fluid. Along the route are lymph nodes that serve as filters for harmful substances. This network of vessels and nodes together is called the lymph system.
Occasionally, this system that normally helps keep the body healthy can cause problems. Keep reading to learn about some of the problems that can develop.
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph system. Lymphoma is broken down into two major types: Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Lymphedema is swelling caused by the buildup of too much lymph fluid in the tissues. It usually affects the arms or legs, but can occur in other parts of the body as well. There are two types of lymphedema:
* Primary lymphedema can occur when lymph nodes or vessels are missing or impaired.
* Secondary lymphedema can result when lymph nodes or vessels are damaged or removed.
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