Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the lymph nodes and is typically seen in patients over the age of 60, but can be seen in all ages of patients.

At the OSUCCC – James, our lymphoma team of physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses are world-renowned experts who specialize solely in the treatment of patients with lymphoma and whose goal is to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific disease.

And by offering access to some of the country’s most advanced clinical trials right here at the OSUCCC – James, patients know that additional options, when needed, are always available for their treatment and care.

What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare cancer that develops in the lymph nodes and is most often seen in patients over the age of 60, but can be seen in all ages. No one knows what causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

NHLs are divided into two main categories: B-cell (B-lymphocyte) and T-cell (T-lymphocyte). B-cell NHL accounts for more than 80 percent of NHL cases diagnosed in the United States.

NHL is diagnosed slightly more often in men than in women, and more than 90 percent of newly diagnosed cases are in adults. The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 70,000 new cases of NHL will be diagnosed in the United States in 2014.

Today, advanced radiation, targeted combination therapies and new treatments discovered by the OSUCCC – James subspecialists and other experts around the world mean that most cases of newly diagnosed NHL cases are curable, especially if diagnosed early.

B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

There are many types and subtypes of B-cell NHL, and each has a variety of treatment options. The OSUCCC – James experts determine a patient’s specific treatment plan and prognosis based on results from specialized testing along with the patient’s age and existing medical conditions at diagnosis.

Types of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

Burkitt Lymphoma

An aggressive, fast-growing type of B-cell NHL that occurs most often in children and young adults. The disease may affect the abdomen, central nervous system, bowel, kidneys, ovaries or other organs.

Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

This B-cell NHL is one of the most frequently diagnosed NHL and is typically aggressive, with rapidly growing tumors in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow or other organs. There are a number of types of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and treatment will depend on your specific type.

Follicular Lymphoma

This is another very common type of B-cell NHL. It is typically slow growing. There are a number of treatments for this type of lymphoma, ranging from chemotherapy to oral drugs to radiation.

Marginal Zone Lymphoma

This is a rare type of B-cell NHL. It is typically slow growing and can be found in the stomach, intestines, tear ducts of the eyes, salivary glands, thyroid gland and other organs. There are a number of treatments for this type of lymphoma, ranging from chemotherapy to oral drugs to radiation.

Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma (Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia)

This is a rare type of B-cell NHL. It is typically slow growing and can cause spleen or lymph node enlargement and anemia. This type of lymphoma over-produces a protein in the blood called the IGM protein and this can cause anemia, neuropathy, and other symptoms.

Mantle Cell Lymphoma

This fast-growing B-cell NHL is most often diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. Small- to medium-sized cancer cells develop in the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, blood and gastrointestinal system.

Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

This NHL forms in the lymph tissue of the brain, spinal cord, meninges (outer covering of the brain) or eye (called ocular lymphoma).

There are several other types of NHL that are less common and are not described here. With more than 30 types of NHL, your OSUCCC – James doctor will explain the diagnosis and best treat options.

T-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

T-cells are white blood cells that help control the body’s immune responses by attacking foreign cells, cancer cells and viruses. In a healthy body, these white blood cells (called lymphocytes) eventually die, and the bone marrow makes new cells to replace them.

In T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, however, the body produces too many T cells, and these cells don’t die to make room for new ones. Instead, they continue to grow and divide abnormally.

T-cell NHL accounts for about 20 percent of the cases diagnosed.

There are many types and subtypes of T-cell NHL, and each has a variety of stages. The OSUCCC – James experts determine a patient’s specific treatment plan and prognosis based on results from specialized testing, along with the patient’s age at diagnosis.

Types of T-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma

An aggressive T-cell NHL, this disease causes enlarged lymph nodes and increased antibodies in the blood (called hypergammaglobulinemia).

Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma

With this fast-growing T-cell NHL, cancer cells have a specific marker called CD30 or Ki-1 on the surface. This kind of NHL may appear in the lymph nodes, skin, bones, soft tissues, lungs or liver.

Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma

This is the most common type of T-cell lymphoma.

Nasal NK-T Cell Lymphoma

A rare subtype of T-cell lymphoma that often is present in the nose and sinuses but can spread to other organs.

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

This T-cell NHL mostly affects a patient’s skin, starting as an itchy, red rash that thickens and forms a tumor. It can also move to lymph nodes and organs as the cancer cells advance. There are many subtypes of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, but the most common is mycosis fungoides.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms

Symptoms of adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

  • Painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, groin or stomach
  • Fever for no known reason
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Feeling very tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Pain in the chest, abdomen or bones for no known reason

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Having symptoms does not necessarily mean you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But if you have symptoms, you should tell your doctor, especially if symptoms are severe or have continued for longer than a few weeks.

If you’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a lymphoma specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 W. 10th Ave.

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066

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