2. Four Stages of Severity and Progression

Experts classify the severity and progression of lymphoma in four stages that represent the location and nature of the cancerous tumor.

  • Stage I, or early disease, means that one single lymph node or bodily region is affected by cancer cells.
  • Stage II, or locally advanced disease, occurs when cancer cells are present in two or more lymph nodes, with all sites being either above or below the diaphragm.
  • Stage III, or advanced disease, signifies that cancer cells are present in locations both above and below the diaphragm.
  • Stage IV, or widespread disease, exists when the cancer cells spread to one or more of the body's organs.

3. Risk Factors

Certain infections, toxic chemicals, and a compromised immune system can increase the risk of developing lymphoma. Those who have had the Helicobacter pylori infection, or any other condition caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, are believed to be at greater risk. The immune deficiency caused by diseases, including HIV, AIDS, and autoimmune diseases, or surgical procedures, such as organ transplants, also heightens an individual's vulnerability. Additionally, exposure to some chemicals used in agriculture and nuclear radiation have been linked to cancer.


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