The lymphatic system is a network of tiny vessels extending throughout the body. Scattered along these vessels are lymph nodes, which are often adjacent to arteries and veins. The lymphatic vessels carry a clear fluid called lymph from the extremities and organs back to the heart for circulation. The primary job of the lymphatic system is to fight infection and disease. A tumor of the lymphatic system is called lymphoma.
There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They are further classified into subtypes.
- Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for 10% of all lymphomas diagnosed in the United States, with the majority presenting in two age groups: 15-30 years of age and then another in adults 55 years or older
- An estimated 8,570 people will be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States this year
- Hodgkin lymphoma is now curable in at least 80% of patients.
- Depending on the stage, the primary treatment approach for this lymphoma is typically a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a broad term that encompasses a diverse group of lymphomas that differ from Hodgkin lymphoma. The most common subtypes diagnosed in the United States include: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL), follicular lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs in individuals at almost all ages, but it is uncommon in children.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is nine times more common than Hodgkin lymphoma, with an estimated 80,620 people diagnosed in the United States this year.
- All types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are treatable, and many are curable. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is typically treated with chemotherapy, biologic therapy and/or radiation therapy. In some types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a stem cell transplant may be part of treatment. Depending on your subtype and overall health, you might receive only one of these treatments or you might receive several in combination.