Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a kind of lymphoma cancer that starts in a type of white blood cell in the body's lymphatic system, according to news reports.
The 72-year-old will receive treatments from a Philadelphia hospital for the cancer, and he said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press that this is "another battle I intend to win." Specter had battled Hodgkin's lymphoma in the past.
Lymphoma is cancer of the body's lymphatic system -- the bone marrow, lymph nodes, thymus gland and spleen, the Mayo Clinic reported. The cancer is capable of spreading throughout the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.
There are many kinds of lymphoma, but the two main kinds are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Both of these types affect the white blood cells, but Hodgkin's lymphoma also has the presence of a Reed-Sternberg cell, a kind of abnormal cell, the Mayo Clinic reported. Hodgkin's lymphoma is also rarer than non-Hodgkin's, of which there are several types.
Lymphoma is expected to affect 79,190 people in the United States this year; 20,130 people in the U.S. are estimated to die from the disease this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
For some famous faces who have somehow been touched by lymphoma, click through the slideshow: