You are at war -- even on the nicest summer day -- fighting an all-out struggle against germs, worms, fungus and other hungry microscopic creatures that would love to turn your carcass into a feast. The only thing standing against them is your immune system -- especially the white blood cells that work like tireless policemen patrolling the farthest corners of your body.
But like the policemen of a failed dictatorship, sometimes your white cells can turn against you.
Your first symptom might be lumps in your neck or groin -- caused by lymph nodes (the "police stations" of the body) full of lazy lymphocytes that have stopped doing their job and now hang around playing poker and drinking whisky all day long. As they crowd out the few loyal cells that remain, your body's defenses weaken and fail, and the housekeeping tasks run awry. Graft and corruption rule the day as your immune system collapses into anarchy and eventual death. Your only hope of regaining the upper hand is to slaughter all the offending cells with powerful radiation and poisonous drugs.
Anybody worried about lymphoma will not be pleased to hear there are over forty different kinds ranging from easily curable to inexorably fatal, each requiring a specialized treatment plan. In fact, it might be easier to just worry about something else.
So why not take a minute to individually thank your hard-working lymphocytes for the fine job they do? Be sure to set aside enough time, since the average person has around 50,000,000,000 of them.