JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – More than 77,000 new cases of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed each year in the United States according to the National Cancer Institute.
News4JAX sat down with Dr. Scott Ackerman with the Ackerman Cancer Center to learn more about the disease.
“Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is also known as malignant lymphoma and it’s a disease in the malignancy of the lymph nodes,” Ackerman said.
The lymphatic system is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The cancer causes white blood cells called lymphocytes to grow abnormally and can form tumors throughout the body.
Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck in the groin are the most common signs of the cancer but there are others to look for as well.
“There’s some that begin in the gastrointestinal track and so it could begin with a poor appetite, a change of bowel habits, weight loss is frequently associated with lymphoma and these things called B-symptoms that we see with lymphomas, and these are symptoms of weight loss night sweats and fever,” Dr. Scott Ackerman said.
There are over 70 types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The National Cancer Institute says there’s a 73% survival rate for people diagnosed.
According to Dr. Ackerman, there’s no real way to prevent it.
“We don’t know enough about the etiology that causes lymphoma to say what you could do to prevent it from happening,” Dr. Scott Ackerman said.
Just like other cancers, there’s a ton of unknowns but early detection is key to beating it.