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7

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015

1

Hodgkin lymphoma basics

What is the lymphatic system?

turns food into a liquid. Then, the liquid drains into

your small intestine. Within your small intestine, fat

and some vitamins are absorbed into lymph vessels.

This fatty lymph, called chyle, travels in lymph vessels

to the bloodstream

As lymph travels, it will pass through and be filtered

by lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are organized masses

of lymphoid tissue. There are hundreds of lymph

nodes throughout your body.

See Figure 1.1.

High

numbers of lymph nodes exist in the middle of your

chest, neck, armpit, groin, pelvis, and along your gut.

Lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissue are

defined by high numbers of white blood cells

called lymphocytes. Lymph also has lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes help fight germs. The three types of

lymphocytes are NK (

n

atural

k

iller) cells, B-cells, and

T-cells. Lymphocytes are made in bone marrow then

are moved by blood to the lymphatic system.

Other parts of your body that have many lymphocytes

are included in the lymphatic system. In children,

the thymus stores T-cells until they are able to fight

germs. Germs in blood are filtered and destroyed

by lymphocytes within your spleen. Your tonsils kill

germs in lymph that enter through your mouth and

nose. There are also small clumps of lymphatic tissue

in your gut, thyroid, breasts, lungs, eyes, and skin.

Figure 1.1

Lymphatic system

The lymphatic system kills germs

in the body and collects and

transports a fluid called lymph to

the bloodstream.

Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.

www.nucleusinc.com