Lymphoma is a blood cancer that attacks the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. There are more than 30 subtypes of lymphoma, but they can be broadly separated into the following two categories:
While many risk factors have been identified for lymphoma, the causes of the majority of lymphomas are unknown. NHL risk is elevated in persons with organ transplants who receive immune suppressants to prevent transplant rejection, in people infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and probably those infected with the hepatitis C virus. A family history of lymphomas is also linked to a higher risk.
The signs and symptoms for lymphomas are often vague. Symptoms may include enlarged lymph nodes, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, intermittent fever or a general feeling of loss of well-being.
Lymphoma Screening & Diagnosis
There is no established screening for any type of lymphoma. Symptomatic patients may undergo a variety of pathology tests to establish histology. Tests generally include lymph node biopsy, blood tests, and sometimes a bone marrow biopsy and aspirate.
Once diagnosed, the cancer is staged using CT scans and PET scans in order to determine the most effective treatment. The prognosis depends on the stage, histologic subtype and other biologic factors. Each cancer type has its own classification system.
NorthShore University HealthSystem physicians and the team at the Kellogg Cancer Center work collaboratively and are dedicated to putting patients and families at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.
Every week, our multidisciplinary team meets to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. Your team may include your hematologist, nurse, genetics counselor, pathologist, nutritionist, interventional radiologist, and researchers focused on you. This meeting of the minds provides each patient with an individualized care plan to create the path for the most optimal outcome. Our approach emphasizes open communication, collaborating with each other personally, and through one of the most advanced electronic medical records systems in the country.