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How common is follicular lymphoma?

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Quick Answer

As of 2014, the most common form of slow-growing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is follicular lymphoma. This type of cancer of the blood represents about 20 to 30 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases, says the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

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Full Answer

Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer, affecting the white blood cells called lymphocytes. Uncontrollable growth and development of the lymphocytes spreads to other parts of the body, such as the underarm, groin and bone marrow. Cancerous tumors of the lymph nodes, lymphomas, then form in these areas. Lymphomas consist of either B-lymphocytes or T-lymphocytes, states the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Follicular lymphoma is a B-lymphocyte lymphoma. The severity of symptoms and early detection dictate the aggression of treatment. Some patient, however, do not display the obvious symptoms of the disease, such as enlarged lymph nodes, night sweats and weight loss, at the time of diagnosis. Asymptomatic patients may experience a delay in treatment by the physician yet experience similar recovery rates as those patients with more aggressive early treatment, says the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Aggressive treatment therapy may include monoclonal antibodies, chemotherapy drugs or a combination regimen. Radiation therapy is useful in treating follicular lymphoma patients with limited disease. Another treatment option is targeted radiation therapy, during which antibodies have radioactive particles attached, attacking cancer cells, states the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

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