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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer. It is one of two types of lymphomas. The other is Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphomas affect the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and the lymphatic system, an important part of your immune system. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma causes abnormal lymphocytes to multiply and overwhelm many different organs in the body. It is a group of similar lymphomas. Some grow slowly, while others are aggressive and grow quickly.
Call 855.970.2527 or Find a Doctor online who has expertise in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Arizona. Our University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center headquartered in Arizona. For your convenience, we also provide cancer care at our Chandler Regional Medical Center campus.
Signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma vary depending on where in the body it starts. The most common early symptom is swollen lymph nodes. People usually notice these in the neck, armpit, or groin. Other common symptoms include:
When non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts in the abdomen, symptoms can include digestive problems and abdominal swelling and pain. In the chest, symptoms can include shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain or pressure. When it affects the brain, people may experience headache, muscle weakness, numbness, and problems with speech, vision, and other senses. Lymphoma can also affect the skin, causing lumps under the skin.
Health experts know that genetic (DNA) defects can trigger the uncontrolled growth of lymphocytes. It is not clear how or why these changes occur in some people or how non-Hodgkin lymphoma develops.
Doctors have identified certain factors that increase your risk of the disease, including:
At Dignity Health, we provide comprehensive care for the whole person. On your care team, board certified radiation oncologists and medical oncologists are joined by dietitians, spiritual care experts, social workers, and pharmacists.
Treatment options depend on the specific type and stage of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In some cases, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting if the disease is slow growing. When treatment is necessary, options include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and stem cell transplant. Surgery is not a common treatment.
In general, cancer prevention focuses on changing risk factors you can control. For non-Hodgkin lymphoma, this means avoiding potentially harmful infections and chemical exposures.
Dignity Health extends the latest treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Arizona.