Your blood contains 2 major types of cells: red and white blood cells. B cells are white blood cells that protect your body from infection and disease.
In DLBCL, some B cells become cancerous when changes cause them to grow and multiply uncontrollably or survive for longer than usual.
Healthy B cells grow, divide, and die as they become old or damaged.
In DLBCL, B cells either grow and multiply uncontrollably or survive for longer than usual.
DLBCL can develop in the lymph nodes (structures that are part of the body’s immune system) or in other parts of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract, testes, thyroid, skin, breast, bone, and brain.
DLBCL signs and symptoms can include:
*swollen or enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, abdomen, or groin
DLBCL is an aggressive (fast-growing) blood cancer. Although it can occur at any age, its incidence increases with age. Most people are first diagnosed between the ages of 65 and 74.
DLBCL affects both men and women but is slightly more common in men. The exact cause of DLBCL is unknown.
Talk with your doctor to learn more about your specific diagnosis and risk factors.
DLBCL is the most common form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), a diverse group of blood cancers that affect different types of white blood cells. In addition to DLBCL, high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL) is a subset of NHL.
Your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and will evaluate them along with details from your comprehensive medical history. If your doctor suspects lymphoma after a physical exam, they may order a biopsy (removal of cells or tissue from your body) to confirm a diagnosis, determine the stage of disease and its subtype, and aid in treatment planning.
Your doctor may also order other diagnostic tests to help determine which type of lymphoma you have.
About 30-40% of people with newly diagnosed DLBCL are at risk of their cancer worsening or returning after treatment with traditional chemoimmunotherapy.† When subsequent therapy for DLBCL is needed, the course of the disease has a worse outlook. This is why the first treatment choice is a vital decision.
When evaluating your treatment options with your healthcare team, it is important to understand how well the treatment works and the possible side effects of the treatment.
For a sample list of questions to help you prepare for your next doctor's visit and understand your diagnosis and treatment options, including if POLIVY may be right for you, download this discussion guide.
While you were most likely diagnosed by a primary care physician or an oncologist, other healthcare providers may be involved at different stages in your journey. You may also hear your care team being called your “cancer care team” or a “multidisciplinary team". You may not see all these individuals, but they may be a part of your journey.
†R-CHOP is the traditional chemoimmunotherapy regimen that has been historically used in the treatment of newly diagnosed DLBCL. R-CHOP is an acronym for the following medicines: a rituximab product (R); cyclophosphamide (C); doxorubicin, also known as Adriamycin (H); vincristine, also known as Oncovin (O); and prednisone (P).
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