What is MALT Lymphoma?

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This article looks at MALT lymphoma symptoms, MALT lymphoma being a subtype of lymphoma. 'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen independent categorical types and subtypes of cancers of the lymphatic system.


MALT is an acronym. It stands for:


Thus, MALT lymphomas are non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in which the cancerous lymphocytes gather in areas where there is mucosa tissue (stomach or GI tract, lungs, thyroid, etc). That said, 'MALT lymphoma' is no longer a lymphoma classification; rather, MALT lymphomas are now considered extranodalmarginal zone lymphomas of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-type. However, for the present article and for the sake of simplicity and understanding we will use the former term of MALT lymphoma.

It is broadly divided into gastric MALT lymphomas and non-gastric MALT lymphomas.

Unlike many other cancers, the cause of most cases of MALT lymphomas that arise in the stomach appears to be infectious agents, specifically one known asH. pylori. The disease is also not uncommon in people with autoimmune disorders

Because of the infectious nature of many MALT lymphomas, treatment with antibiotics alone has proven to be very effective.

MALT Lymphoma Symptoms

The general, non-specific MALT lymphoma symptoms include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Ulcers
  • Pain or discomfort in the abdominal area

Systemic symptoms,also known as B symptoms (such as fever and fatigue), are not common symptoms in people with MALT lymphomas.