Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body. In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma. A total of 21 335 NHL cases (11 531 male and 9804 female) were identified. Although overall age- and registry-adjusted incidence rates rose by 5.74% annually among men and 6.58% among women across the period 1975–95, a statistically significant change-point was nevertheless detected in both sexes in 1996, followed by stabilisation.
Scientists are making a lot of progress in understanding how changes in DNA can cause normal lymphocytes to develop into lymphoma cells. This is providing insight into why these cells may grow too rapidly, live too long, and not develop into mature cells that take part in normal immune reactions. Once this is understood, drugs may be developed that block this process. Many effective treatment options exist for NHL patients, including:
• watchful waiting
• radiation therapy