Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that develop in the lymph nodes and tissues of the lymphatic system, an important part of the body’s immune system.Lymphomas begin in the white blood cells (lymphocytes) and affect the body’s ability to fight infection. Bone marrow makes red blood cells, blood platelets, and white blood cells. Lymphomas sometimes start from bone marrow lymphocytes.

The lymphatic system is made up of organs, lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels throughout the body, making up a major part of the body’s immune system. Lymph nodes are bean-sized organs found throughout the body, primarily in the neck, armpit, groin and the chest and abdomen. They are connected by a system of lymphatic vessels. These vessels are like veins but, instead of carrying blood, they carry lymph and immune system cells.

The lymphatic system includes:

  • Spleen: The spleen is an organ under the lower part of the rib cage on the left side of the body. The spleen makes white blood cells and other immune system cells to help fight infection.
  • Thymus Gland: The thymus lies behind the upper part of the breastbone and in front of the heart.
  • Adenoids and Tonsils: These are collections of lymphoid tissue located at the back of the throat.

When diagnosed with iNHL, I told my physician about my daughter's wedding. He worked with me to develop a treatment plan that accommodated this special day. Because of this initial line of communication we've developed a relationship that made all the difference in the world.

- Jane F., follicular NHL patient

Find information on the two most common types of lymphoma: Hodgkin Lymohoma (HL) & Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). 

Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL)

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a blood cancer that begins in a specific type of white blood cells (lymphocytes), which are part of the immune system. HL occurs when a healthy white blood cell becomes abnormal, dividing and making copies of itself in the body. In the United States, each year approximately 9,000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and, of these, 4,000 are children, teenagers and young adults.

What is Hodgkin Lymphoma?

There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL):

Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) is the most common type of HL. Classical Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 95 percent of HL cases. CHL is marked by an abnormal B-cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell.

Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 5 percent of HL cases. It is marked by abnormal B-cells, and is more common in older people. Very few of these B-cells are Reed-Sternberg cells.

Risk Factors, Signs & Symptoms

Learn about risk factors associated with HL as well as initial signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis & Staging

In order to make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will perform a physical exam, and may order blood tests, biopsies, and imaging tests to confirm the exact type and stage of your disease. 

Treatment & Side Effects Management

Your doctor will recommend treatment options based on the stage of your disease, your overall health and your preferences about treatment. In all cases, treatment should be individualized for you.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of the most common cancers in the United States. It accounts for about 4 percent of all cancer cases. More than 95 percent of cases occur in adults but certain types are common among children. NHL is the name of a group of blood cancers that develop in the white blood cells (leukocytes[G1] ). There are about 60 different subtypes of NHL. Most subtypes fall within two main groups, named for the cell where the lymphoma starts: B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas. NHL can be either indolent (slow growing) or aggressive (fast growing). Most NHL start in B-cells.

What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

There are about 60 different subtypes of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Most subtypes fall into two main groups named for the cell where the lymphoma starts: B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas.

B-cell lymphomas make up most (about 85 percent) of the NHL cases in the United States. The majority of B-cell lymphomas are either diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) or follicular lymphoma (FL).

T-cell lymphomas make up less than 15 percent of NHL cases in the United States. T-cell lymphomas can be aggressive (fast-growing) or indolent (slow growing).

Risk Factors, Signs & Symptoms

Learn about risk factors associated with NHL as well as initial signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis & Staging

Doctors diagnose lymphomas based on 3 factors: (1) how they look under a microscope, (2) genetic changes in lymphoma cells, and (3) the presence of certain markers on the surface of the cells.

To diagnose NHL, your doctor will order several tests, including a physical exam, blood tests, biopsies, and imaging tests. These tests will confirm the exact type and stage of your disease. This will help the doctor decide the best treatment options for you.

Treatment & Side Effects

Your doctor will recommend treatment options based on the stage of your NHL, your overall health and your treatment preferences. Your treatment plan should be designed specifically for your cancer.

 

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