Lymphoma

Our experts treat all stages of this disease while caring for you as a whole person

Lymphoma refers to cancer of a part of the immune system called the lymphatic or lymph system. The lymph system consists of specialized white blood cells, called lymphocytes, which fight infection.

Sometimes lymphocytes become abnormal and reproduce, making more abnormal or cancerous cells.

Lymphoma Types & Symptoms

Two major kinds of lymphoma exist:

  • Hodgkin disease (or Hodgkin lymphoma)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Oncologists consider Hodgkin disease one of the most curable forms of cancer, especially if diagnosed and treated early. The prognosis for non-Hodgkin lymphoma rests on the type of lymphoma, the extent of its spread (staging), and its response to therapy.

Hodgkin disease (Hodgkin lymphoma)

In Hodgkin lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally. They may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As the disease progresses, it inhibits your body's ability to fight infection. Oncologists consider Hodgkin disease relatively rare. Symptoms include:

  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained itching over the entire body
  • Fever with chills
  • Loss of appetite

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

In Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cancer develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that includes:

  • Burkitt's lymphoma. This type of cancer develops from B cells and is one of the fastest-growing cancers.
  • Lymphoblastic lymphoma. This type of cancer mainly affects children and teenagers and may consist of B cells or T cells.
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States. It typically occurs in older people but can also occur in children. It is fast-growing but usually responds well to treatment.
  • Primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma. This is a subtype of DLBCL in which the lymphoma cells are large but with lots of scar-like tissue. It affects about 2 percent of all people with lymphomas and originates in the chest.

Common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

See your physician as soon as possible if you develop symptoms. The treatment’s effectiveness depends on early diagnosis of the disease.

Understanding Lymphoma

Lymphoma Types & Symptoms

Two major kinds of lymphoma exist:

  • Hodgkin disease (or Hodgkin lymphoma)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Oncologists consider Hodgkin disease one of the most curable forms of cancer, especially if diagnosed and treated early. The prognosis for non-Hodgkin lymphoma rests on the type of lymphoma, the extent of its spread (staging), and its response to therapy.

Hodgkin disease (Hodgkin lymphoma)

In Hodgkin lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally. They may spread beyond the lymphatic system. As the disease progresses, it inhibits your body's ability to fight infection. Oncologists consider Hodgkin disease relatively rare. Symptoms include:

  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained itching over the entire body
  • Fever with chills
  • Loss of appetite

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

In Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cancer develops in the lymphatic system from cells called lymphocytes.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that includes:

  • Burkitt's lymphoma. This type of cancer develops from B cells and is one of the fastest-growing cancers.
  • Lymphoblastic lymphoma. This type of cancer mainly affects children and teenagers and may consist of B cells or T cells.
  • Diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). This is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States. It typically occurs in older people but can also occur in children. It is fast-growing but usually responds well to treatment.
  • Primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma. This is a subtype of DLBCL in which the lymphoma cells are large but with lots of scar-like tissue. It affects about 2 percent of all people with lymphomas and originates in the chest.

Common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

See your physician as soon as possible if you develop symptoms. The treatment’s effectiveness depends on early diagnosis of the disease.

Oncologists at IU Health have extensive experience diagnosing and treating lymphoma and other blood cancers. An important part of your care plan at IU Health directly involves you. The IU Health patient- and family-centered approach ensures that you and your family members participate as part of your care team.

Physicians at IU Health Cancer Centers treat lymphoma at all stages while caring for you as a whole person.

Sometimes you don’t need immediate action to treat lymphoma. Your physicians may recommend a watch-and-wait approach. However, depending on the stage of your cancer and other factors, your physicians may begin treatment immediately. This may include:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses specialized drugs either to kill cancer cells or to help manage side effects of cancer.

Surgery

Removing cancerous parts of the lymphatic system, and sometimes surrounding healthy tissue, can eliminate a large part of the cancer from your body.

Immunotherapy

It is sometimes possible to stimulate your immune system to recognize cancerous lymphatic cells and destroy them.

Monoclonal Antibodies

In the lab, we create tiny bits of a special protein, called monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies find and attach themselves to cancer cells anywhere in the body. We use the antibodies to deliver toxins or radioactive material directly to cancer cells.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplant, also known as stem cell transplant, is when healthy blood stem cells are placed into your body to grow new bone marrow and blood cells when your marrow has been damaged by chemotherapy or disease.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy is an emerging form of cancer immunotherapy. IU Health is the only healthcare system in Indiana to offer CAR T-cell therapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).

Treatment

Oncologists at IU Health have extensive experience diagnosing and treating lymphoma and other blood cancers. An important part of your care plan at IU Health directly involves you. The IU Health patient- and family-centered approach ensures that you and your family members participate as part of your care team.

Physicians at IU Health Cancer Centers treat lymphoma at all stages while caring for you as a whole person.

Sometimes you don’t need immediate action to treat lymphoma. Your physicians may recommend a watch-and-wait approach. However, depending on the stage of your cancer and other factors, your physicians may begin treatment immediately. This may include:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses specialized drugs either to kill cancer cells or to help manage side effects of cancer.

Surgery

Removing cancerous parts of the lymphatic system, and sometimes surrounding healthy tissue, can eliminate a large part of the cancer from your body.

Immunotherapy

It is sometimes possible to stimulate your immune system to recognize cancerous lymphatic cells and destroy them.

Monoclonal Antibodies

In the lab, we create tiny bits of a special protein, called monoclonal antibodies. These antibodies find and attach themselves to cancer cells anywhere in the body. We use the antibodies to deliver toxins or radioactive material directly to cancer cells.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow transplant, also known as stem cell transplant, is when healthy blood stem cells are placed into your body to grow new bone marrow and blood cells when your marrow has been damaged by chemotherapy or disease.

Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy

CAR T-cell therapy is an emerging form of cancer immunotherapy. IU Health is the only healthcare system in Indiana to offer CAR T-cell therapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).

IU Health experts conduct research that gives them a high level of expertise in advanced treatment of lymphoma. Researchers conduct clinical trials that include:

  • Molecularly targeted therapy: This research addresses the underlying reasons why some white blood cells become cancerous. We are also researching medications that attack cancerous cells but not normal cells.
  • Immune therapy: We are developing drugs that stimulate the immune system to attack cancerous cells on its own

Research

IU Health experts conduct research that gives them a high level of expertise in advanced treatment of lymphoma. Researchers conduct clinical trials that include:

  • Molecularly targeted therapy: This research addresses the underlying reasons why some white blood cells become cancerous. We are also researching medications that attack cancerous cells but not normal cells.
  • Immune therapy: We are developing drugs that stimulate the immune system to attack cancerous cells on its own

Mar 09

Physician’s teenage son pushes for medical research into blood cancers

Ali Alhaddad, son of IU Health University Hospital’s Dr. Mohammad Alhaddad, is leading a team of high school students to raise money for the LLS.

Physician’s teenage son pushes for medical research into blood cancers image.

Patient Stories for Lymphoma

Mar 09

Physician’s teenage son pushes for medical research into blood cancers

Ali Alhaddad, son of IU Health University Hospital’s Dr. Mohammad Alhaddad, is leading a team of high school students to raise money for the LLS.

Physician’s teenage son pushes for medical research into blood cancers image.

Lymphoma Research Foundation

The Lymphoma Research Foundation funds new research into treatment for lymphoma and for educating patients and families. You can also find resources about support groups.

Resources

Lymphoma Research Foundation

The Lymphoma Research Foundation funds new research into treatment for lymphoma and for educating patients and families. You can also find resources about support groups.