Lymphatic System

What does it do?

The Lymphatic system removes interstitial fluids, absorbs fatty acids and fats from the digestive system, and moves white blood cells from/to lymph nodes and to/from bones.
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Parts of the Lymphatic System


The tonsils located at the back of your throat are actually called Palatine tonsils, and they're one kind of tonsil out of many. The tonsils' job is to create antibodies to protect against infectious diseases, along with catching smaller bacterium and toxins.
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Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are little glands that are found in lymph vessels throughout the body. Lymph nodes contain lymph, a substance that carries white blood cells, which fight infection.
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Lymph Vessels and Lymph Fluid

Lymph vessels are just like blood vessels, only they carry lymph to tissues instead of blood. Lymph is a clear fluid produced by the bone marrow and thymus. It brings oxygen and other nutrients to cells. It takes away waste like carbon dioxide, and contains white blood cells to help fight infections.

Right Lymphatic and Thoracic Ducts

The right lymphatic and thoracic ducts collect the lymph that flows throughout the body and send it back into the bloodstream.
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Lymphatic Diseases

Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome (ALPS)

ALPS is a genetic disorder that causes a high number of white blood cells to collect in the lymph nodes, which leads to nodal swelling. It can cause anemia, thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count), and neutropenia (a low neutropenia, a common type of white blood cell, count).
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What causes Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is currently unknown. The disease causes muscle cells to grow sporadically in the lymph nodes, lungs, and kidneys. LAM is usually found in women of childbearing age. It can lead to pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and large tumors inside the lymph nodes. Treatment can include tumor removal, and in extreme cases, lung transplants. There is no cure, and most women diagnosed with LAM can expect to live 8-10 years, though recently there have been rare cases of a LAM patient surviving up to 20 years after diagnoses.
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Castleman Disease (CD)

Castleman disease behaves like a cancer, even though it isn't officially classified as one. It is actually angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia (AFH). Like cancerous lymphomas, it is usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
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Current Event

This current event article details the part the lymphatic system plays in cancer. It attempts to draw attention to lymphatic disease research, as the lymphatic system is notoriously ignored among the medical communtiy, and thus lymphatic diseases often go undiagnosed due to uninformed medical professionals.


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"How to Check Lymph Nodes." N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Internet Scientific Publications." N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Lymph Nodes and Cancer." Lymph Nodes and Cancer. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Lymphatic Diseases: MedlinePlus." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Lymphatic Education & Research Network." Lymphedema-More Than Just Cancer's Nasty Little Secret, by William Repicci. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Thoracic Duct (Left Lymphatic Duct)." InnerBody. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Thoracic Duct Flashcards." N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. <>.

"What Do Tonsils Do?." Today I Found Out RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2014. <>.

"What Is LAM?." - NHLBI, NIH. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2014. <>.

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