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Primary Gastric Lymphoma

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Primary Gastric Lymphoma is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • non-Hodgkin gastric lymphoma
  • stomach lymphoma, non-Hodgkins type

Disorder Subdivisions

  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the stomach
  • mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) gastric lymphoma

General Discussion

Primary gastric lymphoma is a general term for a type of cancer that originates within the stomach. Approximately 90 percent of cases of primary gastric lymphoma are either mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) gastric lymphoma or diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the stomach. MALT gastric lymphoma is often associated with infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium. Within the medical literature, significant controversy exists regarding the exact definition, classification and staging of primary gastric lymphoma.

The term lymphoma refers to cancer that arises in the lymphatic system. Functioning as part of the immune system, the lymphatic system helps to protect the body against infection and disease. It consists of a network of tubes known as lymph vessels that drain a thin watery fluid known as lymph from different areas of the body into the bloodstream. Lymph collects in the tiny spaces between tissue cells and contains proteins, fats, and certain white blood cells known as lymphocytes. As lymph moves through the lymphatic system, it is filtered by a network of small structures known as lymph nodes that help to remove microorganisms (e.g., viruses, bacteria, etc.) and other foreign bodies from the bloodstream.

Most types of lymphoma result from errors in the production of a type of white blood cell (lymphocyte) or transformation of a single lymphocyte into a malignant cell. Abnormal, uncontrolled growth and proliferation of malignant lymphocytes may lead to enlargement of a specific lymph node region or regions; involvement of other lymphatic tissues, such as the spleen and bone marrow; and spread to other bodily tissues and organs, can lead to life-threatening complications. The specific symptoms (fever, night sweats, itchiness, etc.) and physical findings (weight loss, enlarged spleen, lumps over the neck or axilla, etc.) may vary from case to case, depending upon the extent and region(s) of involvement and other factors.

Most cases of primary gastric lymphoma are B-cell subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). NHL may be broadly classified into lymphomas that arise from abnormal B-lymphocytes (B-cell lymphoma) and those derived from abnormal T-lymphocytes (T-cell lymphoma). Most cases of lymphoma arise in the lymph nodes. When lymphoma arises outside the lymph nodes, it is referred to as extranodal lymphoma. Primary gastric lymphoma is the most common form of extranodal NHL.

NHL may also be categorized based upon certain characteristics of the cancer cells as seen under a microscope and how quickly they may tend to grow and spread. For example, NHL may be characterized as "low-grade" (or indolent), meaning it tends to grow slowly and result in few associated symptoms, or "intermediate-" or "high-grade" (aggressive) lymphomas, which typically grow rapidly, requiring prompt treatment. MALT gastric lymphoma is generally an indolent lymphoma; DLBCL of the stomach is generally an aggressive lymphoma. In some cases, individuals may have both forms of cancer at the same time.

Resources

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
1311 Mamaroneck Avenue
Suite 310
White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: (914)949-5213
Fax: (914)949-6691
Tel: (800)955-4572
Email: infocenter@LLS.org
Internet: http://www.LLS.org

American Cancer Society, Inc.
250 Williams NW St
Ste 6000
Atlanta, GA 30303
USA
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345
TDD: (866)228-4327
Internet: http://www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
USA
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237
TDD: (800)332-8615
Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.cancer.gov

OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource
3400 Spruce Street
2 Donner
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
USA
Tel: (215)349-8895
Fax: (215)349-5445
Email: hampshire@uphs.upenn.edu
Internet: http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu

Lymphoma Research Foundation
115 Broadway
Suite 1301
New York, NY 10006
USA
Tel: (212)349-2910
Fax: (212)349-2886
Tel: (800)235-6848
Email: LRF@lymphoma.org
Internet: http://www.lymphoma.org

Lymphoma Foundation Canada
16-1375 Southdown Road
Suite 236
Mississauga
Ontario, L5J 2Z1
Canada
Tel: 9058225135
Fax: 9058149152
Tel: 8666595556
Email: info@lymphoma.ca
Internet: http://www.lymphoma.ca

Lymphoma Association (UK)
PO Box 386
Aylesbury, HP20 2GA
United Kingdom
Tel: 01296619400
Email: information@lymphomas.org.uk
Internet: www.lymphomas.org.uk

Cancer Research UK
Angel Building
407 St John Street
London, EC1V 4AD
United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7242 0200
Fax: 02071216700
Email: cancerhelpuk@cancer.org.uk
Internet: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/

Rare Cancer Alliance
1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
USA
Internet: http://www.rare-cancer.org

Friends of Cancer Research
1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 22202
Tel: (202)944-6700
Email: info@focr.org
Internet: http://www.focr.org

Cancer.Net
American Society of Clinical Oncology
2318 Mill Road Suite 800
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (571)483-1780
Fax: (571)366-9537
Tel: (888)651-3038
Email: contactus@cancer.net
Internet: http://www.cancer.net/

Cancer Support Community
1050 17th St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355
Internet: http://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/

Lance Armstrong Foundation
2201 E. Sixth Street
Austin, TX 78702
Tel: (512)236-8820
Fax: (512)236-8482
Tel: (877)236-8820
Email: media@livestrong.org
Internet: http://www.livestrong.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

Last Updated:  6/17/2011
Copyright  1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2011 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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