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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cont.)

What Happens

In non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), either abnormal cells in the lymphatic system divide and grow without order or control or old cells do not die normally. Lymphatic tissue is present in many areas of the body, so non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can start almost anywhere in the body.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma may occur in a single lymph node, a group of lymph nodes, or an organ. And it can spread to almost any part of the body, including the liver, bone marrow, and spleen. Doctors classify NHL into stages based on where the lymphoma is growing in the body.

Over time, lymphoma cells may replace the normal cells in the bone marrow. Bone marrow failure results in the inability to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen, white blood cells that fight infection, and platelets that stop bleeding.

Long-term survival depends on the type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and the stage of the disease when it is diagnosed. Approximately 80 out of 100 people diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are alive 1 year after the disease is diagnosed. That number drops to about 65 out of 100 at 5 years and 54 out of 100 at 10 years.2

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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