Two lymphomas, both are cancers of the blood

Learn about Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin Lymphoma

Lymphoma Facts_403

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

If you’ve been seeing red lights around the country, thank the Lymphoma Research Foundation for its campaign to add red lighting to raise awareness of blood cancers, in particular, lymphoma. What do you know about the two lymphomas?

Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the white blood cells called lymphocytes.  Lymphocytes help fight infection and other diseases.  Organs and tissue that have lymphocytes include the spleen (on the left side of the body under the ribcage), digestive tract (throat, stomach, intestines) bone marrow, thymus (small gland in front of the heart) and lymph nodes (found in the chest, abdomen, groin, arms and head and neck).

There are two main types of lymphoma:  Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Differences between the Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin Lymphoma:

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is more common than Hodgkin Lymphoma.  There are approximately 70,000 new cases of NHL per year and approximately 9,000 new cases of Hodgkin lymphoma per year.
  • Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in people between the ages 15-40, and NHL is more common in individuals over the age of 65.

Risk Factors for NHL:  

  • Age – getting older
  • Gender – more common in men
  • In the United States, more common among whites than in African American or Asian Americans  Worldwide it is more common in developed countries like the United States and Europe
  • Individuals with weak immune systems (HIV) or autoimmune disorders like lupus, celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Exposure to certain chemicals like herbicides and insecticides

Risk Factors for Hodgkin Lymphoma

  • Age – 15-40 years
  • Gender – more common in males
  • People infected with Epstein-Barr virus – mononucleosis
  • Family history – Brothers and sisters of young people with this disease have a higher risk of Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Socioeconomic status – Risk is higher in individuals from a higher socioeconomic background

Treatment of lymphoma can include:  chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, stem cell transplant, and clinical studies.   Survival for lymphoma depends on the stage of disease, age, gender and extent of organ involvement.

For a schedule of Michigan’s Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walks, please visit:   http://www.lightthenight.org/mi/

Let’s Light it Red for Lymphoma and increase awareness.

Continue learning about lymphoma




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