Lymphoma is a form of Cancer that affects the immune system – specifically, it is a Cancer of immune cells called lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. There are two broad types of lymphoma (Non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s) and many subtypes.
In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, B-cells and T-cells are affected – both being types of lymphocyte white blood cell with special roles in immunity.
In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Cancer cells are usually an abnormal type of B lymphocyte, named Reed-Sternberg cells. There are many subtypes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, typed by differences seen under the microscope – but a very high percentage of cases are classed as classic Hodgkin’s.
As of 2016, there have been an estimated 8,000 new cases of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Canada and an estimated 2,700 deaths in canada (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2016).