Cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Other names: Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

DEFINITION

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, also called non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body. In Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common than the other general type of Lymphoma — Hodgkin Lymphoma.

SYMPTOMS

When to see a doctor: Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that worry you.

CAUSES

Doctors aren't sure what causes Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. It occurs when your body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Normally, lymphocytes go through a predictable life cycle. In Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, your lymphocytes don't die but continue to grow and divide.

RISK FACTORS

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Be well-prepared by writing down symptoms, personal information, medications, and questions for your doctor. Some basic questions to ask include:

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Tests may include physical examination, blood tests, imaging tests, biopsy, and bone marrow examination.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Treatment options depend on the type and stage of Lymphoma. Options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, biological therapy drugs, and radioimmunotherapy drugs.

COPING AND SUPPORT

Learn about Lymphoma to make decisions about your care, keep friends and family close for support, and consider talking with a counselor or joining a support group.


QUESTIONS

  1. What is Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: Cancer originating in the lymphatic system from abnormal lymphocytes.

  1. What are common symptoms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: Swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, weight loss.

  1. What are risk factors for developing Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: Medications suppressing the immune system, infections with certain viruses and bacteria.

  1. How is Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosed?

Answer: Through tests like physical examination, blood tests, imaging tests.

  1. What are some treatment options for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant.

  1. When should one see a doctor regarding symptoms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: If experiencing persistent signs and symptoms.

  1. Can Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma be slow-growing?

Answer: Yes, indolent Lymphomas may not require immediate treatment.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding potential Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: By writing down symptoms and questions for the doctor.

  1. What role do B cells and T cells play in Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: The disease can originate from either B cells or T cells.

  1. What coping strategies are recommended for dealing with a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

Answer: Learning about the condition and seeking support from friends/family or support groups.