Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL, is a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes. These cells are mainly found in lymph nodes, bone marrow, and spleen. When you have lymphoma, these cells grow out of control or live longer than normal. Then, they collect in lymph nodes, causing them to swell. There are many kinds of NHL. They are divided and named by: How fast the cancer grows − Slow growing or fast growing How the cells look under the microscope Doctors can tell if you have this disease by doing blood tests or a bone marrow biopsy. They may remove a sample of your lymph node for testing. They may also do an MRI or CT scan, ultrasound, or spinal tap. These tests help the doctor stage the cancer or see how far it has spread. This will help the doctors know what treatment is best for you. You may be given chemo, radiation, or biologic therapy that helps the immune system kill the cancer. Sometimes treatment is not needed now and the doctor can just monitor you and wait until treatment is needed. Some patients may have a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Others may take part in a clinical trial that tests new treatments. After treatment, women may have long-term problems getting pregnant. Men may not be able to father a child after treatment. Talk to your doctor before treatment if you plan on having children later on.