Follicular lymphoma affects the white blood cells and is the second most common non-Hodgkin lymphoma, accounting for about twenty percent of cases. Follicular lymphoma is considered the most common indolent or slow-growing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. According to the American Cancer Society, the median age at diagnosis is sixty years and slightly predominant in women.
In most cases, follicular lymphoma does not show any symptoms, and the affected individuals might experience extended periods of good health. In fact, it is mostly diagnosed in the third or fourth stage of development. The first sign is usually painless swelling in the lymph nodes located in various parts of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite. Sometimes follicular lymphoma can develop in areas outside the lymph nodes, such as the skin.
Treatment for follicular lymphoma depends on several factors such as the stage of development. At the initial stages when the tumors are localized, radiation or chemotherapy are the most common options for treatment, but advanced stages are not curable and the average survival time is approximately twenty years.
Continue reading for details on the next form of this group of cancers.