The malignant cells that cause the lymphoma start in the lymph nodes. The tumor develops when there is an abnormal growth of the node. The case is quite similar to lymphoid leukemia, but this only affects the bone marrow where blood cells are produced through the process of hematopoiesis, as well as circulating blood.
The first description of this terrible disease was first published in 1832. This was done by Thomas Hodgkin, hence the name of the type of Hodgkin's disease. There are many other forms that have been discovered since then and all are part of a large group of diseases that are known as hematologic malignancies.
When you begin to feel that you have symptoms, especially enlarged lymph nodes, you should seek help from your doctor. That does not always mean that you are sick, but you have to make sure you do not have this disease.
The first step is the biopsy, according to the organs that are infected with the disease. After you have confirmed that you have lymphoma, the doctor must classify what type of this disease you have, before giving you the appropriate treatment for your condition, your bone marrow should be examined.
One of the special types of scans that you may be asked to submit is the Positron Emission Tomography (PET). This is able to determine the types of cancer based on the activity that is occurring in the cancer cell.
Other types of scans provide different results. For example, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography show good quality photographs of the various parts of the body where the masses of tumors and swollen lymph nodes can be seen.
The problem with these scans is that doctors can not base their conclusions on the size and shape of what was photographed through these processes. This is what the PET is capable of doing.
Along with the other types of tests, all results can be used to determine the stage of the disease. Afterwards, the doctor will proceed to give him the necessary treatment and decide if he has to go through chemotherapy or undergo radiation.
After some cycles of chemotherapy, you have to go through the scanners to help you evaluate how well you are responding to the medication. When the treatment has been done, you still have to go through the PET exams to find out if you still have cancer cells, scar tissue or you have already healed.