Castleman disease is a rare illness that affects your lymph nodes and other immune-cell structures of your body.

Also known as giant lymph node hyperplasia and angiofollicular lymph node hyperplasia, Castleman disease is classified as a lymphoproliferative disorder. That means it involves an overgrowth (proliferation) of lymphatic cells. This makes Castleman disease similar to cancers of the lymphatic system (lymphomas), which also are characterized by cell overgrowth. Castleman disease isn't considered a cancer, but it is associated with a higher risk of a type of cancer called lymphoma.

Castleman disease can occur in a localized or a more widespread form. Treatment and outlook depend on which type of Castleman disease you have.

Sep. 03, 2011