Living with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (also referred to as NHL or simply lymphoma) is cancer of the lymphoid tissues, which are part of the body's immune system and include the lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. There are more than 30 different types of non Hodgkin's lymphoma, often making classification difficult. However, the disease is most often divided into two main categories: indolent (slow-growing) and aggressive (fast-growing). Approximately 70,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are diagnosed in the United States each year. The five-year survival rate for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma varies greatly depending on several factors including type, stage, and patient age; but it is generally above 60%.
There are no specific causes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer; however, there are several risk factors associated with the disease. These include age (the majority of patients are over the age of 60) and individuals with a weakened immune system. Symptoms include fevers, chills, and night sweats; swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin; abdominal or chest pain; weight loss; and itching. The stages of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma range from I to IV, depending on tumor size and how widely it may have spread. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or stem cell transplant.
For more information on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.
If you have been affected by non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.