What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma occurs when abnormal white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the lymphatic system grow in an uncontrolled way.

The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of lymph (a fluid that carries lymphocytes and other immune system cells), lymph vessels and lymphoid tissue. Lymphoid tissue is in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, tonsils, bone marrow and digestive tract.

Lymphoma can start in any part of the body that has lymphoid tissue. It often starts in lymph nodes in the chest or neck, or under the arms. From there, it spreads to other lymph nodes. It can sometimes spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs, liver and bone marrow.

Lymphoma is 1 of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women in Australia.

  • Lymphoma statistics

    Lymphoma statistics

    Lymphoma is 1 of the 10 most common cancers in both men and women in Australia.

  • Know the risk factors

    Know the risk factors

    Some risk factors are modifiable, such as lifestyle or environmental risk factors, and others cannot be modified, such as inherited factors or whether someone in the family has had cancer.

  • Lymphoma symptoms

    Lymphoma symptoms

    Some of the most common symptoms of lymphoma are painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin or underarm, tiredness and night sweats. 

  • How is lymphoma diagnosed?

    How is lymphoma diagnosed?

    You might have a number of tests to investigate your symptoms and confirm a diagnosis of lymphoma.

  • Treatment options

    Treatment options

    Treatment and care of people with cancer is usually provided by a team of health professionals, both medical and allied health, called a multidisciplinary team.

  • Finding support

    Finding support

    You might feel overwhelmed, scared, anxious or upset if you have been diagnosed with cancer – these are all normal feelings.

  • Research & clinical trials

    Research & clinical trials

    Research is ongoing to find new ways to diagnose and treat different types of cancer.

  • Health professionals

    Health professionals

    Information and Clinical Guidelines for Health professionals.

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