Lymphoma

Back To Cancer Information

Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system (the tissues and organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells). Hodgkin's disease is one type of lymphoma. It develops in white blood cells, which help the body fight disease.

All other lymphomas are grouped together and are called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). They develop in other parts of the lymphatic system, including the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes and can then spread to other organs.

Just how common is lymphoma? Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the fifth most common type of cancer (not including skin cancer) in the United States today. Over 66,000 adults and children will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma this year. Over 95 percent of those who receive a lymphoma diagnosis will be adults around 60 years of age. Men have a slightly higher risk than women, although the numbers of women being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has recently been increasing. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common in whites than African Americans or Asian Americans. The cause of lymphoma is unknown.

At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, our goal is to treat Lymphoma by developing a customized plan for each patient based on his or her unique needs.

Using a comprehensive team approach, we work together to give you customized care that includes the most-advanced diagnostic methods and treatments. Our highly skilled physicians, nurses and staff provide excellent and compassionate medical care, education and support to meet your needs throughout and after treatment.

Learn More About Lymphoma

Unlike other cancers, the causes and risk factors of lymphoma are undefinable. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has no known cause, and most people diagnosed with it don’t have any risk factors.

Since there are no screening tests to find NHL in its earliest stages and no clear lymphoma cancer risk factors, the best approach is to take notice of any unusual symptoms and seek medical attention promptly.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma early signs and symptoms may include:

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, groin or underarm
  • Fevers
  • Heavy night sweats
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss without a known reason
  • Severe itchiness
  • Reddened patches on the skin
  • Nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain

Even though there are no known risk factors for lymphoma, take notice of any unusual symptoms as they may be warning signs of a serious medical condition. Seek medical attention promptly if you experience any of the symptoms above.

If you are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. The types of treatment recommended will depend on several factors, including:

  • Type of lymphoma
  • Stage and category of disease
  • Symptoms
  • Your age and general health

Your treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer will be customized to your particular needs. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat the cancer or help relieve symptoms.