What is Mantle Cell Lymphoma?
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a rare and often aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that arises from the outer edge of a lymph node’s follicle, known as the mantle zone. This cancer predominantly affects older adults, particularly men, and is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).
Symptoms of mantle cell lymphoma can include:
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin, which is usually painless.
- Fever, night sweats, and weight loss (collectively known as B symptoms).
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
- In more advanced cases, MCL can spread to the gastrointestinal tract, causing symptoms like abdominal pain or bloating.
Disease Aetiology (Causes)
The exact cause of mantle cell lymphoma is unknown, but it involves a genetic mutation in the B lymphocytes. This mutation leads to the overproduction of a protein called cyclin D1, which promotes cell growth.
Mantle cell lymphoma is diagnosed through various methods:
- Physical Examination: Checking for enlarged lymph nodes.
- Blood Tests: To assess the general health and to detect anomalies in white blood cell counts.
- Biopsy: A sample from the lymph node or other affected tissue is essential for a definitive diagnosis.
- Imaging Tests: Such as CT scans, PET scans, and X-rays to determine the extent of the disease.
- Bone Marrow Biopsy: To check if the lymphoma has spread to the bone marrow.
Treatment options for mantle cell lymphoma typically include:
- Chemotherapy: Often the first line of treatment.
- Immunotherapy: Medications like rituximab are used to target and kill cancer cells.
- Targeted Therapy: Drugs that specifically target cancer cell growth and survival pathways.
- Stem Cell Transplant: In some cases, particularly for younger, healthier patients or in cases of relapse.
- Radiation Therapy: Used in localized cases or to alleviate symptoms.
What support can we give for Mantle Cell Lymphomar?
Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well-known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Mantle Cell Lymphoma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: