Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the body’s lymph system. Contrary to its name and to what some people might have told you, lymphoma is not just isolated on the lymph nodes and thymus gland for the lymph or lymphatic system is actually composed of the bone marrow, the thymus gland, the lymph nodes, tonsils, appendix, and spleen. The system filters the waste or unwanted materials like fats and bacteria from the various body tissues. The one that picks up the body’s dirt is the lymph, a clear or sometimes yellowish fluid. But the question remains, how does one get lymphoma?
Unfortunately, however, the answer to that question is not a simple one. For one, despite the thousands of hours spent on medical research and laboratory testing the actual cause of the disease is still unknown. DNA mutation is one of the possible causes of why lymphoma develops but what happens why DNA has to mutate remains a big question to the medical science community. Medical scientists, nevertheless, have found several factors that can possibly increase the risks of developing lymphoma.
As you might have already guessed, the two general factors are genetic and environmental factors. Genetics for one is still a complicated issue that most likely cannot be resolved soon with a concluding answer. Inheriting the disease cannot still be ascertained as a valid cause. However, it was found out people with inherited immune disorders are most likely to develop lymphoma as well. Immune disorders such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease appear to have a hand in the development of lymphoma.
Likewise, those that have immune system disorders are also at a higher risk of developing lymphoma. Those that belong to this type of disorder include patients with HIV/AIDS, Helicobacter Pylori, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). People with compromised immune systems like those with HIV/AIDS and EBV are often candidates for lymphoma as well.
On the environmental factors side, it should be common knowledge by now that various health hazards such as exposure to chemicals and radiation causes a variety of diseases, disorders, or health conditions. And this includes developing lymphoma. More specifically, solvents like acetone, alcohol (yes various alcohols), xylene, turpentine, and benzene have found to associated with lymphoma.
The same can be said with chemical herbicides and pesticides which make farmers and various workers in the agricultural sector at a higher risk of developing the disease. Some hair dye products have also been found to be a significant factor in the development of lymphoma in some patients. Although, it seems that the hair dye products that shown such effects were those manufactured before the 1980s.
How does one get lymphoma? To fully answer that question means giving more time and more funding to the medical science community to do their research and testing. Lymphoma cases are not going down and definitely, the disease is not something that can be eradicated in a quick span of time. But for now, we should at least try to avoid the various factors that increase our risk of contracting the disease. Prevention is still the best cure.