Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Alternative Names

Lymphoma – non-Hodgkin’s; Lymphocytic lymphoma; Histiocytic lymphoma; Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Cancer – non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Definition of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer of the lymphoid tissue, which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

White blood cells called lymphocytes are found in lymph tissues. Most lymphomas start in a type of white blood cells called B lymphocytes, or B cells.

Symptoms

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can cause a variety of symptoms. Symptoms depend on what area of the body is affected by the cancer and how fast the cancer is growing.

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and check body areas with lymph nodes to feel if they are swollen. Tests to diagnose and stage non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

Treatment

Treatment primarily depends on:

Expectations (prognosis)

Low-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually cannot be cured by chemotherapy alone. However, the low-grade form of this cancer progresses slowly, and it may take many years before the disease gets worse or even requires any treatment.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 3/2/2010

Lymphoma, malignant - CT scan
Immune system structures

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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