Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Cancer Types - Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, whose function is to fight disease and infections.

The lymphatic system includes:

Lymph--fluid in which the lymphocyte cells are suspended.

Lymph vessels--thin tubes that carry lymph fluid throughout the body.

Lymphocytes--cells that fight infection and disease.

Lymph nodes--bean-shaped organs, found in the underarm, groin, neck, abdomen, and other parts of the body, that act as filters for the lymph fluid as it passes through them.

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer in the lymphatic system. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 70,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2012. Although NHL is among the most common cancers in childhood, more than 95 percent of cases occur in adults.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma causes the cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually causing tumors to grow. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells can also spread to other organs.

There are several types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which are classified by what types of cells they start in and how quickly they spread.

What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

The following are the most common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, symptoms can vary depending on where the lymphoma starts and what type it is, so each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems, such as influenza or other infections. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than lymphoma. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

What are the risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphomas?

Suggested risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphomas include the following:

What is a risk factor?

A risk factor is anything that may increase a person’s chance of developing a disease. It may be an activity, such as smoking, diet, family history, or many other things. Different diseases, including cancers, have different risk factors.

Although these factors can increase a person’s risk, they do not necessarily cause the disease. Some people with one or more risk factors never develop cancer, while others develop cancer and have no known risk factors.

But, knowing your risk factors to any disease can help to guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically monitored for the disease.

How is non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include the following:

Treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Specific treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma will be determined by your doctor based on:

Treatment may include:

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Cancer Center

 

Top of Page return to top of page