Lymphoma is cancer that begins in cells of the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune system, which helps the body fight infection and disease. Because lymph tissue is found all through the body, lymphoma can begin almost anywhere. The two main types of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma. In 2012, there were an estimated 549,625 people living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States. About 66,000 new cases of NHL are diagnosed each year in the U.S. NHL is mostly a disease of older adults, particularly those over age 60. It can be diagnosed at any age, however, and NHL does account for about 4% of cancers in children. In the U.S., NHL occurs about 45% more frequently in males than in females. Also, NHL generally occurs more often among Whites than among persons of other race.
MD Anderson has helped advance the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in many areas, including development of new, leading-edge treatments. The main types of treatment for NHL are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and biological therapy. Some people may have surgery. Sometimes high dose chemotherapy with a stem cell transplant may be used to try to increase the chance of curing NHL.
Some people need only one type of treatment and others need more than one. Your doctors need to know several things to be able to decide which treatment you need, including
•The type and grade of NHL you have
•The stage of NHL you have
•Your general health