Primary Gastric Lymphoma

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Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Primary Gastric Lymphoma is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

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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.

Supporting Organizations

American Cancer Society, Inc.

250 Williams NW St
Ste 6000
Atlanta, GA 30303
USA
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345
Website: http://www.cancer.org

Cancer Research UK

Angel Building
407 St John Street
London, EC1V 4AD
United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7242 0200
Fax: 2071216700
Email: cancerhelpuk@cancer.org.uk
Website: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/

Cancer Support Community

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Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355
Website: http://www.cancersupportcommunity.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
Website: http://www.cancer.net/

Friends of Cancer Research

1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)944-6700
Email: info@focr.org
Website: http://www.focr.org

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

3 International Drive
Suite 200
Rye Brook, NY 10573
Tel: (914)949-5213
Fax: (914)949-6691
Tel: (800)955-4572
Email: infocenter@LLS.org
Website: http://www.LLS.org

Livestrong Foundation

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

Lymphoma Association (UK)

PO Box 386
Aylesbury, HP20 2GA
United Kingdom
Tel: 1296619400
Email: enquiries@lymphomas.org.uk
Website: http://www.lymphomas.org.uk

Lymphoma Foundation Canada

7111 Syntex Drive
Suite 351
Ontario, ON L5N 8C3
Canada
Tel: 9058225135
Fax: 9058149152
Tel: 8666595556
Email: info@lymphoma.ca
Website: http://www.lymphoma.ca

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
Website: http://www.lymphoma.org

National Cancer Institute

6116 Executive Blvd Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20892-8322
USA
Tel: (301)435-3848
Tel: (800)422-6237
Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Website: 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
Website: http://www.oncolink.upenn.edu

Rare Cancer Alliance

1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
USA
Website: http://www.rare-cancer.org

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, 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.

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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.

Last Updated:  1/28/2014
Copyright  2014 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.