Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. It is the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, making up about 30 percent of all cases. DLBCL can affect people of any age and can cause serious health problems if not treated.


The most common symptom of DLBCL is a painless swelling of one or more lymph nodes, usually in the neck, armpit or groin area. Other symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Itching
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the lymph nodes
  • Trouble breathing, swallowing or eating


The cause of DLBCL is unknown, although certain factors may increase the risk, such as a weakened immune system. DLBCL is an aggressive form of cancer, and it spreads quickly to other parts of the body.


In order to diagnose DLBCL, a doctor may use a variety of tests and examinations. This may include a biopsy of the lymph node, a complete blood count, X-rays, a MRI or CT scan, and other imaging tests.


Treatments for DLBCL may include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or stem cell transplant. Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for DLBCL and typically involves a combination of drugs. Radiation therapy may also be used in some cases. In addition, stem cell transplant may be used in certain cases.


The outlook for someone with DLBCL depends on a variety of factors, such as the stage of the cancer and how well the treatments are working. With treatment, up to 80 percent of people with DLBCL can achieve remission.