The lymphatic system

  • The lymphatic system is the body's natural defence against infection.

  • It is made up of a collection of lymph nodes connected together by lymphatic vessels.

  • Small lymph nodes are found mainly in the neck, under the armpits and in the groin. Other nodes are found in the chest and abdomen.

  • A clear fluid called lymph is produced in the body's tissues and circulates throughout the body via the lymphatic system.

  • It contains cells known as lymphocytes that act as a defence against infection. If, for example, you have a sore throat you may notice and the nodes in your neck become enlarged, this is a sign that your body is fighting against the infection.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas

  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system.

  • There are two main types of lymphoma: non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease.

  • Lymphoma cells have the ability to spread beyond the original site. They usually spread first to other lymph nodes/glands in the lymphatic system, but can also enter the bloodstream which carries them to various organs.

  • When the cells reach a new site they may go on dividing and form a new tumour.

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas is one of the ten most common cancers in Hong Kong and is also common in the Asia region.

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