Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a fast-growing cancer that affects white blood cells known as B cells. Normally, B cells help your immune system defend against infections caused by bacteria or viruses. However, in DLBCL, abnormal B cells become cancerous. This means that they multiply uncontrollably and live longer than normal cells.

DLBCL is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, making up about 30% of all lymphomas.

Relapsed DLBCL means that the disease, or the signs and symptoms of the disease, has returned following at least one previous treatment. This means that after a period of showing fewer symptoms, your DLBCL has returned.

Refractory DLBCL means that the disease did not respond to previous treatment.

About 30% to 40% of people with DLBCL experience relapse following their first treatment.

Refractory DLBCL occurs in about 10% of people treated for this cancer.

It’s important to remember that, even if you experience relapsed or refractory DLBCL, there’s still hope. Your healthcare team will work with you to help you understand your next steps forward.

There are a number of treatment approaches available for people with relapsed or refractory DLBCL. Some of these may include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, stem cell transplant, and CAR-T.

Ultimately, who you decide to tell or not tell about your diagnosis is your own choice. It may be difficult to decide who to talk to and what to say. Some of those you may chose to tell are family, friends, employers, and coworkers. It’s also important to keep an open line of communication about DLBCL and your treatment plan with your healthcare team. They are the best source of information about your own unique situation.

There are a variety of national organizations and associations dedicated to providing education, support, and resources for patients with DLBCL and other types of cancer.

The patient organizations and websites listed here provide patients and caregivers with helpful information about DLBCL and tips for living with the disease. They may also help you find national support groups.