Lymphoma is a cancer that begins in a type of white blood cell, usually found in a lymph node. Lymph nodes are small oval shaped structures, found in many areas of the body. They form part of the immune system and when they are healthy, they form an important part in fighting infections. In patients with lymphoma, these cells begin to grow in an uncontrolled way. Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is the result of this occurring in a "B lymphocyte" (type of white blood cell) in the outer edge of a lymph node follicle which is called the mantle zone. The transformed cells accumulate to form tumours in lymph nodes; this in turn leads to the lymph nodes becoming enlarged.
Eventually, the lymphoma cells can enter the blood stream and spread to other lymph nodes or tissues such as the bone marrow, spleen, blood, gastrointestinal tract and liver.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) is currently the 6th most common cancer diagnosed by clinicians in the UK. Mantle cell lymphoma is a sub-type of NHL that can occur at any age from the late 30s to old age, but is more common in the over 50s. MCL is also more common in men than in women.
The Lymphoma Association have produced a really helpful document for patients with Mantle cell Lymphoma, you can download this here: