Lymphoma is a cancer that begins when the lymphocytes (infection-fighting cells in your immune system) change and grow out of control. These cells are found in the lymph system, which includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow and other parts of the body.

There are two main types of lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin – which is the most common – and Hodgkin. The two types of lymphoma involve different types of lymphocyte cells and because of this they grow at different rates and respond differently to treatment.

Warning signs for lymphoma are also common warning signs for other illnesses. These can include:

  • Swollen glands in the neck, armpit or groin
  • Cough or shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Scientists don’t know what causes lymphoma in most cases. Age and gender factors differ depending on the type of lymphoma. Having a weakened immune system or immune system disease may increase your risk, as will some viral infections like Epstien-Barr or hepatitis C. Exposure to benzene or chemicals that kill bugs and may also increase your risk, and there are some indications hat having a close relative who had lymphoma is also a risk factor.

The outlook for patients diagnosed with lymphoma can vary depending on the type of lymphoma and its stage, but it is very treatable. Our Lymphoma team, led by Dr. Willem van Heeckeren, works together to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy are the main treatments for both types.

To speak to one of our specialists about your recent lymphoma diagnosis, symptoms or concerns about your risk for developing lymphoma, call (440) 205-5755.


Fundraising efforts throughout the year help LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center continue to carry out our mission to provide world-class cancer care and oncology services to residents within driving distance of Mentor and Lake County.