What is mantle cell lymphoma?

Mantle cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer that grows in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is responsible for moving fluids around the body and transporting the immune system. Mantle cell lymphoma is not common and is responsible for less than 10% of lymphoma diagnoses. It’s most often diagnosed in men in their 60’s or 70’s.


Initially, there may not be any symptoms of the disease. Symptoms of Mantle cell lymphoma can vary for each person, but some common symptoms can include the following:

  • Lymph node swelling, especially in the throat or neck area, under the arms, or in the groin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased blood counts
  • Easy bleeding or bruising


The ultimate diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma will be made once a biopsy is obtained. Imaging tests will likely be ordered when someone is suspected of having lymphoma. Standard imaging tests can include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans.

A biopsy often removes part or all of an enlarged lymph node. In some cases, a bone marrow biopsy may be done as well. Once mantle cell lymphoma is diagnosed, additional testing of chromosomes and other markers is done on the tumor to help determine the cancer’s grade and other characteristics.


The exact treatment for mantle cell lymphoma will be determined once the diagnosis is made and the cancer stage is known.

For some with a very slow-growing mantle cell lymphoma type, no treatment may be needed at first. They may undergo routine imaging and lab studies to evaluate the state of the disease.

If you have been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, it is important to learn as much as possible about the disease and treatment options to make the best health decisions.


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