Conditions InDepth: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system, the system responsible for fighting infections and draining excess fluid from body tissues.
In general, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are divided into two main groups: aggressive (or high grade) and indolent (or low grade). They may also be described by the type of cells found within the lymphoma (mantle cell, T cell, or B cell) or the pattern of grown within the tissue (diffuse or follicular)
The Lymphatic System
Lymphoma occurs when lymph cells, or lymphocytes, divide uncontrollably. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. However, if cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This is called a growth or tumor. The term “cancer” refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.
The cause of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is unknown.
According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, about 66,120 Americans will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma this year. It is the fifth most common cancer in the US.
Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_page?item_id=7030 . Updated September 2008. Accessed October 9, 2008.
Non-hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin . Accessed October 9, 2008.
Last reviewed June 2008 by
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