Lymphoma is a cancer that appears in lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) and is characterized by lumps or growths in the lymph nodes. These most commonly appear in the neck, armpit and groin, although they can appear anywhere on the body.
However, non-cancerous lumps and growths can grow in the lymph nodes, which is referred to benign lymphoma. While the exact cause of benign lymphoma is unclear, many scientists believe that they’re caused by environmental factors that alter the lymphocytes.
Benign lymphoma is very rarely life-threatening and the tumors (or lumps) are usually fairly slow-growing and rarely expand enough to involve any tissue or other body parts.
Lymphoma and benign lymphoma share many of the same symptoms. As well as lumps in the lymph nodes, patients can also suffer from fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss and skin rashes, among other symptoms.
A biopsy of a tumor will confirm whether the lymphoma is benign or malignant (cancerous). In some cases, the benign lymphoma is so slow-growing that doctors will adopt a watchful waiting strategy but since there’s a risk that the tumors could become malignant or grow big enough to affect nearby tissue, most patients will opt for surgery or radiation treatment to either remove or shrink the tumor. Find out more about benign lymphoma here.
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