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Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Rare But Deadly

As one of the most common cancers found in patients across the United States, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) represents roughly 4% of all cancer diagnoses and claims almost 20,000 lives per year. One of the rarest yet most aggressive forms of NHL is mantle cell lymphoma, which accounts for approximately 6% of all NHL diagnoses. Here’s a breakdown of the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for this type of cancer.

What Is Mantle Cell Lymphoma?

This form of cancer gets its name from the fact that it originates in the “mantle” area of the white blood cells known as lymphocytes, which are located in lymph nodes of the neck, groin, armpits and other regions of the immune system. In patients with mantle cell lymphoma, B cell lymphocytes which are normal, healthy cells that can become cancerous begin to rapidly multiply, forming tumors in the lymph nodes.

Mantle cell lymphoma is most often noticed and diagnosed in its later stages or in cases involving the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, liver and spleen. Most often, the cancer has spread to other areas of the body by the time it’s diagnosed—and unfortunately, that makes it very difficult to cure. Strides are being made toward new treatment methods, however, and the existing standard of care for this rare form of NHL helps patients live longer at a higher quality of life.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

While men are more likely than women to develop mantle cell lymphoma, the signs and symptoms are similar and include:

  • Lower back pain that radiates down one or both legs
  • Loss of appetite, constantly feeling full and unexpected weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes or discomfort due to enlarged liver, spleen or tonsils
  • A combination of common ailments, such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, fever, night sweats, heartburn, upset stomach, bloating and more

Risk Factors for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Few risk factors have been identified for mantle cell lymphoma specifically, as the disease is rare and not genetically acquired. However, the sooner this or any other NHL is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. So, be aware of these common NHL risk factors:

  • Age in the early 60s
  • Gene mutations or somatic DNA damage
  • Those who identify their ethnicity as white
  • Overproduction of cyclin D1, a protein responsible for the growth of cells
  • Some viruses, including Epstein-Barr, HIV/AIDS, helicobacter pylori infection and HTLV-1
  • Autoimmune disorders, certain medications and other factors related to a weak immune system
Doctor explaining scan to patient

Treatment Options for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

Treatment of mantle cell lymphoma must begin immediately after diagnosis for the best outcome. At Regional Cancer Care Associates, our team of expert oncologists and other medical professionals will devise a personalized treatment plan that may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Stem cell transplant
  • FDA-approved medications
  • Targeted therapy with medications to block proteins that promote cancer cell growth

Your doctors will work together to determine the most appropriate treatment for your needs and guide you through every step to help you feel confident with your care.

Fight the Battle with Regional Cancer Care Associates

If you’ve been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma or another form of cancer, don’t delay in beginning your treatment at Regional Cancer Care Associates. With more than 30 locations in Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey, you’ll find comfort in our patient-centered approach that allows our team of experts to tend to your unique needs. For more information, schedule a consultation at Regional Cancer Care Associates or call 844-346-7222 with any questions or concerns.


Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.