Pathology dictionary

What does lymphoma mean?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that comes from cells that make up our immune system. The immune system is made up of many different types of cells including B-cells, T-cell, plasma cells, and macrophages. ​Your immune system helps us fight off infections and heal after an injury.

Lymphoma can occur anywhere in the body. The most common sites for lymphoma are:

  • Lymph nodes.
  • Gastrointestinal tract (the stomach, small intestines, and colon).
  • Bones.
  • Skin.

Types of lymphoma

There are many types of lymphoma and a tissue sample is sent for pathological examination to determine which specific type of lymphoma is present. Most lymphomas are caused by B-cells and they are divided into non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma. Less common types of lymphoma are caused by T-cells or plasma cells.

Common types of lymphoma include:

The behavior of the disease depends on many factors including the lymphoma type, the grade, and any specific molecular changes present in the cancer cells. All of these factors are examined by your pathologist and documented in the pathology report.

Your pathology report provides critical information which will allow your doctor to predict the behavior of the disease and select the most appropriate treatment.

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