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Any of a large group of cancers of lymphocytes (white blood cells). Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can occur at any age and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss. There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These types can be divided into aggressive (fast-growing) and indolent (slow-growing) types, and they can be formed from either B-cells or T-cells. B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas include Burkitt lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, immunoblastic large cell lymphoma, precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma. T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas include mycosis fungoides, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, and precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma. Lymphomas that occur after bone marrow or stem cell transplantation are usually B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Prognosis and treatment depend on the stage and type of disease. Also called NHL.
The lymph system is part of the immune system and is made up of the following:
Anatomy of the lymph system, showing the lymph vessels and lymph organs including lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Lymph (clear fluid) and lymphocytes travel through the lymph vessels and into the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes destroy harmful substances. The lymph enters the blood through a large vein near the heart.
Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body. Cancer can spread to the liver and many other organs and tissues.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in pregnant women is the same as the disease in nonpregnant women of childbearing age. However, treatment is different for pregnant women. This summary includes information on the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both adults and children. Treatment for children, however, is different than treatment for adults
Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This summary is about the treatment of adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other types of lymphoma are:
Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma is an uncommon type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), accounting for about 1-2% of all lymphomas. It is a B-cell lymphoma and is also known as immunocytoma or Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia (WM). With lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma, the lymphoma cells are usually found in the bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. This type of NHL usually occurs in older adults.
Large amounts of a protein called immunoglobulin M (IgM or macroglobulin) are made by the lymphoma cells. Increased amounts of this protein in the blood can cause the blood to thicken (hyperviscosity syndrome) and lead to problems with circulation, such as decreased blood flow to organs like the brain or eyes.
Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma is usually a slow-growing (indolent) lymphoma. Sometimes it can change (transform) into an aggressive large cell lymphoma.
Intravascular lymphoma (IVL) is a rare subtype of extranodal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with a distinct presentation. Anatomically the disease is characterized by the proliferation of clonal lymphocytes within small vessels with relative sparing of the surrounding tissue. The clinical symptoms of the disease are dependent on the specific organ involvement, which most often includes the central nervous system and skin. The diagnosis is almost exclusively made by surgical biopsy of a suspected site of involvement. Advances in imaging and immunohistochemistry have led to increasing antemortem diagnosis of this lymphoma.
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma include the following
These and other symptoms may be caused by adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following problems:
Symptoms of Waldenström macroglobulinemia depend on the part of the body affected. Most patients with Waldenström macroglobulinemia have no symptoms. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following problems:
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. After a small area of skin is numbed, a Jamshidi needle (a long, hollow needle) is inserted into the patient’s hip bone. Samples of blood, bone, and bone marrow are removed for examination under a microscope
Lumbar puncture. A patient lies in a curled position on a table. After a small area on the lower back is numbed, a spinal needle (a long, thin needle) is inserted into the lower part of the spinal column to remove cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, shown in blue). The fluid may be sent to a laboratory for testing.
If cancer is found, the following tests may be done to study the cancer cells:
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
For non-Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy, the treatment options also depend on:
Some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma spread more quickly than others do. Most non-Hodgkin lymphomas that occur during pregnancy are aggressive. Delaying treatment of aggressive lymphoma until after the baby is born may lessen the mother's chance of survival. Immediate treatment is often recommended, even during pregnancy.
For more information on Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma click here
This link is to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer website in the United States. There may be references to drugs and clinical trials that are not available here in Australia.
Information has also been sourced from cancer.ca, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
For information courtesy of Cancer Australia, please click here
Page last updated: 23/07/2018