Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for lymphoma care? 

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Siteman Cancer Center and the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center are two programs accessible through BJC HealthCare. Because lymphoma develops in your blood, it can easily travel to other areas of your body. To stop this progression, you need the right treatments, at the right time. At BJC, we understand exactly how lymphoma develops and progresses. And we have the expertise to effectively treat it.

When you to come to us for lymphoma treatment, you can expect: 

  • A reputation for excellence: Siteman Cancer Center provides access to superior care close to home. Siteman is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. 
  • Precision diagnosis: Lymphoma is a complex disease that can be difficult to diagnose. That’s why you need a team with expertise in recognizing lymphoma in all its forms. An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward building an effective treatment plan. 
  • Innovative treatment options: Our advanced therapies include stem cell transplants and pioneering CAR T-cell therapy. These systemic treatments can help destroy cancer cells throughout your body. 
  • Team approach to care: Effective treatment for lymphoma often requires the expertise of multiple doctors. Our lymphoma team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and hematologists. Together, they create a customized treatment plan for each patient. 
  • Research and clinical trials: New therapies for lymphoma — as well as novel combinations of therapies — are constantly evolving. Our doctors participate in cutting-edge clinical trials that help us improve treatment options. That means you have access to the latest discoveries sooner. 
  • Support when you need it most: Treatment for lymphoma can be a long and challenging process. We understand the toll this can take on your physical and emotional well-being. Our care includes a variety of cancer support services for you and your family — including nutritional guidance and mental health counseling. Our goal is to help you improve your quality of life during and after treatment. 
What is blood cancer?

Siteman Cancer Center physician explains different types of blood cancer. 

Learn more about blood cancer.
What is lymphoma? 

Lymphoma isn’t just a single disease. In fact, there are at least 90 different types of blood cancers that fall into the category of lymphoma.

Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that begins in the white blood cells (called lymphocytes). These cells are part of your body’s immune system. The abnormal cells can multiply quickly and travel through your blood and lymph systems.

Left unchecked, lymphoma can spread into your lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and other organs. Lymphoma is the most common type of blood cancer. The disease affects nearly 90,000 adults in the U.S. each year.

Types of lymphoma

There are dozens of different types of lymphoma, but the two main categories are:

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL): This type is the most common. NHL accounts for about 90% of all the lymphoma cases we diagnose. Within this category, there are B-cell lymphomas and T-cell lymphomas. These are based on whether the cancer forms in your immune system’s B-cells or T-cells. 
  • Hodgkin lymphoma: This type is less common, but also much more easily treated (and frequently cured). It’s characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, lymphocytes which can have more than one nucleus.
How is lymphoma diagnosed? 

Because there are so many different subtypes of lymphoma, it can be very difficult to diagnose. At BJC, we understand how important it is for you to receive a timely and accurate diagnosis. Our lymphoma specialists are experts at determining different types of lymphoma.

We use a variety of methods to identify the type, location and stage of lymphoma. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests

  • Bone marrow biopsy

  • Imaging tests, such as PET or CT scans

How is lymphoma treated? 

Lymphoma treatment varies depending on the type of lymphoma, as well as where it has spread within your body. Because lymphoma affects your blood and immune system, most treatments are systemic. This means that they target your whole lymph system or entire body. For this reason, surgery is rarely necessary.

Treatment for Hodgkins and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma may include a combination of therapies, including: 

  • Our cancer centers provide the latest, most effective chemotherapy and medical oncology treatments with a personalized, compassionate approach.
  • Our radiation oncology team features board-certified radiation oncologists, physicists and cancer biologists who specialize in the latest radiation therapies.
  • Targeted drug therapy
    This type of treatment uses medicines that zero in on the specific changes in cancer cells or in nearby tissues that cause the cancer to grow and spread.
  • Our immunotherapy team is knowledgeable in the latest immunotherapy options to treat cancer. We use advanced genetics to tailor your treatment.
  • CAR T-cell therapy
    For this treatment, a certain type of white blood cells (WBCs), called T cells, are removed from your blood. This is done during a process called apheresis. The rest of your blood goes right back into your body. Only the T cells are removed.
  • Stem cell transplant
    A stem cell transplant uses young blood cells, called stem cells, to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by cancer treatment. Over time, these stem cells grow and become new, healthy bone marrow.
Sign up for our newsletter and take charge of your whole health.

Stay ahead of the curve with exclusive content from BJC's health care professionals, delivered right to your inbox.