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Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in cells that are a part of the body’s immune system1. The two main types of lymphoma are known as Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma2.

  • Lymphoma is a broad term for a group of blood cancers that starts in the lymphatic system (tissues and organs that produce, store and carry white blood cells to fight infection)2,3. There are two main types of lymphoma:

    • Hodgkin lymphoma spreads in an orderly manner from one group of lymph nodes to another3. It may later spread to the lungs, liver, or bone marrow4.
    • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) spreads through the lymphatic system in a random, non-orderly manner. NHL begins when certain white blood cells (T and B cells) become abnormal. These abnormal cells can spread to almost any other part of the body3,4. This type of lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma5.
  • The exact cause of lymphoma is not known3. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in older people 3, while Hodgkin lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed in teens and young adults (ages 15 to 39) and in adults aged 75 and older 3. Men have a higher chance to developing lymphoma3. You may be at increased risk of developing lymphoma if you have a family history of lymphoma, HIV, other viruses such as Epstein Barr virus, or have been exposed to radiation3.

  • Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, feeling tired, and weight loss 3.

  • To diagnose lymphoma, your doctor will do a physical exam, blood tests, a chest x-ray, and a biopsy4.

  • There are different ways to treat lymphoma such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy (a type of therapy that specifically attacks cancer cells and not normal cells), or biological therapy (a type of therapy that boosts a person’s body to help fight cancer4.

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