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What is B-cell lymphoma?

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Quick Answer

B-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or cancer of the lymphatic system. According to Mayo Clinic, B cells fight off infection within the body. Types of B-cell lymphoma include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

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What is B-cell lymphoma?
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Full Answer

A common symptom in B-cell lymphoma is lymphadenopathy, or enlarged lymph nodes, according to Medscape. Other common symptoms include night sweats, unexplained weight loss and fever. Symptoms of the central nervous system, bone pain, cough, chest pain and anemia are also are present in lymphoma.

B-cell lymphoma is diagnosed through a CBC, which is a blood test that examines bone marrow function; imaging studies to determine the involvement of lymph nodes; and a bone marrow biopsy. Treatment of B-cell lymphoma depends on its severity and symptoms. These treatments include watchful waiting and monitoring of a patient's symptoms, biologic agents such as Rituxan, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, according to Medscape.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is the most common subtype, according to Cancer.net, with approximately 30 percent of NHL patients having this subtype. DLBCL is often curable when chemotherapy is combined with Rituxan treatment.

Mantle cell lymphoma is more common in men than women, according to Cancer.net, and it is more common in individuals age 60 and older. This type of B-cell lymphoma commonly affects the gastrointestinal system, bone marrow, spleen and lymph nodes.

Follicular lymphoma begins in the lymph nodes and grows slowly. There is no known cure, but Cancer.net states that about 80 percent of patients diagnosed with this subtype of B-cell lymphoma live at least five years after being diagnosed.

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