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What is T-cell Lymphoma?
T-cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) can develop in any part of the body where lymph nodes are present, such as the neck, groin or underarm. T-cell lymphoma may also develop in extranodal organs (where lymph nodes do not exist). This type of cancer develops in the lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help you fight infection.
NHL is divided into two cell types: B-lymphocytes (B cells) and T-lymphocytes (T cells). T-cell lymphomas make up less than 15 percent of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas, with many types being quite rare.
Types of T-cell Lymphoma
Although most are rare, there are many types of T-cell lymphomas, such as:
Mycosis Fungoides – Accounting for 5 percent of T-cell lymphomas, this type of NHL develops in the skin.
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma – A fast growing type of T-cell lymphoma that starts in the lymph nodes but often spreads to the skin.
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma – An extremely rare form of T-cell lymphoma that develops in mature T-cells.
Precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma – This type of T-cell lymphoma is sometimes referred to as leukemia, depending on the amount of bone marrow involved. It often starts in the thymus and grows rapidly.
T-cell Lymphoma Symptoms and Signs
T-cell lymphoma symptoms can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer in the body. These symptoms can often be difficult to differentiate between common illnesses such as a cold or flu.
Some common T-cell lymphoma symptoms include:
- Skin rash or itchy skin (pruritus)
- Coughing or shortness of breath
- Difficulty moving parts of the body
- Pain in the chest, abdomen or bones for no known reason
- Swelling in the lymph nodes in the neck, underarms, groin , or abdomen
- Night sweats that often soak the sheets
- Persistent fatigue, lethargy, feeling of tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
Visit our non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms page to view more symptoms associated with T-cell lymphoma.
NOTE: These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than cancer, such as an infection or other illness. It is important to consult with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.
T-cell Lymphoma Treatment & Therapy Options
T-cell lymphoma treatment is often the same type of treatment as other non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancers. Your cancer care team will determine the right treatment plan by assessing the location and severity of the disease.
Common T-cell lymphoma treatments include:
Chemotherapy - T-cell lymphoma (and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in general) is primarily treated with chemotherapy. Chemo drugs destroy cancerous cells in the body, stopping their growth and reproduction.
Immunotherapy - This form of treatment uses the body’s own immune system to interfere with the division of cancer cells. It is often used in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat T-cell lymphoma.
Radiation Therapy - External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) uses high frequency radiation beams to kill cancer cells from outside of the body. This treatment is sometimes combined with chemotherapy to fight T-cell lymphoma.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we treat the whole person. In addition to advanced T-cell lymphoma treatments, we also provide the following supportive therapies: