NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Mantle Cell Lymphoma

7 NCCN Guidelines for Patients ® : Mantle Cell Lymphoma, 2019 1  MCL basics Lymph system You’ve learned that you have or may have lymphoma. It’s common to feel shocked and confused. This chapter reviews some basics that may help you learn about mantle cell lymphoma. Lymph system Before learning about mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), it is helpful to know about the lymph (or lymphatic) system. It is one of 13 systems of the human body. It transports fluids to the bloodstream and fights germs. It supports your blood-flowing (cardiovascular) and disease-fighting (immune) systems. Lymph Cells are the building blocks of tissue in the body. The spaces between cells are filled with fluid. This fluid is called interstitial or tissue fluid. Most tissue fluid comes from parts of blood plasma that have passed out of blood vessels. Cells also release waste and other products into tissue fluid. When tissue fluid increases, it drains into vessels. Almost all of tissue fluid drains back into blood vessels. The rest of it drains into lymph vessels. Once inside of lymph vessels, tissue fluid is called lymph. Lymph travels in lymph vessels back to the bloodstream. The lymph system also collects fat and some vitamins from your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. After you eat, your stomach 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. Lymphoid tissues Lymph and lymphoid tissue have high numbers of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. They are part of the immune system and help to fight germs. The three types of lymphocytes are B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells. Lymph nodes are organized masses of lymphoid tissue. As lymph travels, it will pass through and be filtered by lymph nodes. There are hundreds of