Lymphoma is a difficult cancer for patients to understand, says James Foran, M.D., UAB hematologist/ oncologist and Cancer Center associate scientist. “Lymphoma doesn’t really fit nicely into a category,”
he says. “Nobody really understands why they get it, and they have a hard time understanding what kind
of cancer it is.” Lymphoma affects the cells in the immune system and is the most common type of blood cancer.

Depending on the specific cells that are affected, each case is classified as one of two primary types—
Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s—and these two categories break down further into five types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and more than 40 subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s. Of the two main types, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is far more common, affecting approximately 66,000 Americans every year, making it the fifth most common cancer in the United States. In general, lymphomas are highly treatable and often respond well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While many lymphomas cannot be cured, they can be managed.