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B-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that forms in B cells, a type of white blood cell. Normal B cells are crucial to the immune system, as they help the body fight off infections by producing antibodies. However, in B-cell lymphoma, the B cells become abnormal and grow out of control, leading to the formation of tumors in the lymph nodes and other parts of the body.

There are several different types of B-cell lymphoma, which can vary in terms of their aggressiveness, the symptoms they cause, and their treatment options. The most common type is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), but other types include follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, and marginal zone lymphoma.

Types of B-cell Lymphoma

There are several types of B-cell lymphoma, including:

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): This is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults. It can start in any part of the body. Read more about DLBCL by visiting the HealthTree for DLBCL website. 
  • Follicular lymphoma: This is the second most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It usually grows slowly and tends to cause few symptoms. Read more about follicular lymphoma by visiting our HealthTree for Follicular Lymphoma website. 
  • Mantle cell lymphoma: This is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It usually grows quickly and requires aggressive treatment. Read more about mantle cell lymphoma by visiting our HealthTree for Mantle Cell Lymphoma website.
  • Marginal zone lymphoma: This includes three different types of B-cell lymphoma that start in the marginal zones of lymph tissue. These lymphomas tend to grow slowly and cause few symptoms. Read more about marginal zone lymphoma by visiting our HealthTree for Marginal Zone Lymphoma website. 
  • Burkitt lymphoma: This is a very aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It is rare in adults, but more common in children. Read more about Burkitt lymphoma by visiting our HealthTree for Burkitt Lymphoma website. 

Why Do People Get B-Cell Lymphoma?

The exact cause of B-cell lymphoma is not known. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Certain conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or certain autoimmune diseases, can increase the risk of developing B-cell lymphoma. Exposure to certain chemicals or radiation may also increase the risk.

Some studies suggest that certain infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), may be linked to B-cell lymphoma, but more research is needed to confirm these findings. Age is another risk factor, as the disease is more common in older adults. However, B-cell lymphoma can occur at any age.

Who Gets B-Cell Lymphoma?

B-cell lymphomas make up about 85% of all non-Hodking lymphoma cases in the United States. The remaining 15% of non-Hodgkin cases are T-cell lymphomas. DLBCL is the most common type of B-cell lymphoma, accounting for about 1 out of every 3 lymphoma cases. The average age of DLBCL diagnosis is mid-60s. About 1 out of every 5 lymphoma cases is a follicular lymphoma, with an average age of diagnosis around age 60. This type of B-cell lymphoma is rare in very young people. About 5% of lymphomas are mantle cell lymphomas. This type is much more common in men than in women and it most often appears in people older than 60. Marginal zone lymphoma accounts for 5-10% of lymphomas with an average age of 60. Burkitt lymphoma makes up 1-2% of adult lymphomas. It is rare in adults but is more common in children. It is also much more common in males than in females. 

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