The Pathophysiology of Lymphoma: Signs and Symptoms That Are Identified

The pathophysiology of lymphoma refers to the process or processes going on inside the body that are sometimes reflected in the signs and symptoms that are identified as being indicative of lymphoma.

For example, swollen, painless lymph nodes are a symptom of lymphoma. Pathophysiology of lymphoma with this symptoms is that it becomes this way when cancerous lymphocytes do not die, as they are supposed to, but rather proliferate and collect at the lymph nodes.

In cases with 'bulky' disease or tumor masses, as the tumor grows in size it begins to cause problems with the surrounding tissues and organs, causing symptoms that can be indicative of lymphoma.

The Molecular Pathophysiology of Lymphoma

This subject is too specific and too technical for this entry, but in brief what it refers to is the process, at the molecular level, that is believed to result in a lymphocyte becoming cancerous. For instance, in follicular lymphoma, it is very common to find that a specific gene, known as BCL-2, has undergone chromosomal rearrangement—in other words, a structural change has occurred to that gene and is likely the reason it turned cancerous. As it develops, the pathophysiology of lymphoma often includes mutations of certain proteins that encode certain genes, such as p53 and p16. Since the gene encoded by p53 is a tumor suppressor gene, a mutation in p53 could mean that the ability of that gene to suppress tumor development is compromised.

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