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Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive lymphoma that most commonly affects men more than women over the age of 50 years. It is relatively uncommon and accounts for approximately 5% to 10% of all NHL cases.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom is a painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin, caused by enlarged lymph nodes. Often lymph nodes in more than one area of the body are affected. Splenomegaly (enlargement of the spleen) is relatively frequent and may cause a feeling of fullness in the abdomen after eating only small amounts.

Mantle cell lymphoma can grow aggressively (fast) and may spread to other organs in the body, including the bone marrow, spleen and liver. It can also spread to the stomach or digestive tract. Mantle cell lymphoma is usually widespread at the time of diagnosis. Lymph node biopsy is used to confirm the diagnosis. Other tests including X-rays, bone marrow biopsy, CT scans and blood tests may also be performed.

How is it treated?

Mantle cell lymphoma is usually treated with combination chemotherapy medicines with the addition of a monoclonal antibody. Mantle cell lymphoma can also be treated with radiation therapy, stem-cell transplant and targeted therapies.

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