All About B Cell Lymphoma Risk Factors, Types and Treatment
B cell lymphoma is one of the 2 major subtypes of Non Hodgkins lymphoma. It is a cancer that starts in the B lymphocytes or B immune cells of your immune system. It has 10 types. Treatment depends on the type you're diagnosed with and the signs or symptoms of lymphoma you're experiencing.
The most common types are large B-cell and Follicular Lymphoma. B cell is more common than T cell lymphoma. In the United States, it accounts for 85% of Non HL cases.
Treatment for lymphoma originating in B cells differs from the type that affects T cell. That's why it is important to find out what type of immune cell has turned abnormal.
What are the risk factors for B cell lymphomas?
Tumors affecting the B-cells of your immune system are usually hereditary such as an autoimmune diseases. But they are also associated with other environmental factors such as:
chronic infections caused by HIV and EBV, and
immune deficiencies caused by organ transplant.
What are the types of B cell lymphomas?
There are 10 types of lymphomas affecting your B lymphocytes. Six of them are:
1. Large B-cell lymphoma
Large B cell type has 5 subtypes:
primary mediastinal b-cell, and
The diffuse large B cell type is one of the 2 most common among the 10 types. In fact, about 1 in 3 cases is DLBCL.
Characteristics of DLBCL are . . .
Large cancerous cells when viewed under the microscope
Affects any age group but occurs mostly in older people
Usually starts in either internal lymph nodes (chest or abdomen) or lymph nodes you can feel (neck or armpit)
Responds well to chemotherapy
2. Follicular lymphoma
This is the second most common type of B cell lymphomas. It is characterized by . . .
Cancerous cells grow in nodular or circular pattern in your lymph nodes
Common among older people (age 60 or above) and rare in children
Starts in many lymph node sites in the body and in the bone marrow
Slow-growing but are hard to cure. Often follicular lymphomas are not treated when they are first diagnosed if the patient has no symptoms of the disease
Can become a fast-growing diffuse B-cell
3. Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
The cancer starts in the small lymphocytes of the lymph nodes in your immune system. It is a slow-growing type of B-cell tumor but it can become aggressive over time.
4. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
The cancer also affects your small lymphocytes but unlike in SLL, CLL starts primarily and most frequently in the blood and the bone marrow. It also progresses slow but is much slower than the SLL type. But just like the SLL type, it can become aggressive.
Often starts in the jaws or other facial bones for the African variety
Usually starts in the abdomen, ovaries, testes, or other organs, and can spread to the brain and spinal fluid for the American variety
Affects more men. In fact, about 90% of patients are male and the average age is about 30
The African classification is closely linked to Epstein Barr Virus.
6. Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma
Involves the brain, spinal cord, tissues around the spinal cord and the eye
Tends to metastasize in the central nervous system
Primary CNS lymphoma is more common in people with weak immune system problems and those infected with HIV
What are types of B cell lymphoma treatment?
Treatment may include the following:
Stem cell transplant and
Treatment varies depending on the type, stage, growth of the cancer, your age and even your medical condition. Fast-growing types such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma require a combination of 2 types of treatment.