Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a term used to refer to a group of blood cancers that affect the lymphatic system. Although the various types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma share many characteristics, they differ in several key ways, including their molecular features and growth patterns, their impact on the body, their appearance under a microscope and how they respond to treatment.
The types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be divided into two major groups:
B-cell lymphoma originates in certain abnormal white blood cells (B lymphocytes) and attacks the skin. The subtypes of B-cell lymphoma, which account for approximately 85% of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas, include:
- Primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma – A slow-growing lymphoma that may appear as a bumpy, reddish-brown rash or a pink, purple or flesh-colored nodule under the skin on the head, neck or torso
- Primary cutaneous marginal zone B-cell lymphoma – A slow-growing lymphoma that may appear as a pink or red lesion, nodule or tumor on the torso or an arm
- Primary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, leg type – A fast-growing lymphoma that may appear as solitary or multiple nodules on the torso, arms or legs
- Primary cutaneous diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, other – A group of rare lymphomas—including intravascular large B-cell lymphoma, T-cell–rich large B-cell lymphoma, plasmablastic lymphoma and anaplastic B-cell lymphoma—that may appear on the head, torso or extremities
T-cell lymphoma originates in certain abnormal white blood cells known as T lymphocytes. The subtypes of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, which account for approximately 15% of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas, include:
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma – May appear as slightly raised, scaly, round patches of skin or a reddish rash
- Anaplastic large cell lymphoma – May appear as solitary or multiple raised, red skin lesions that do not go away, have a tendency to ulcerate and may itch; can also affect the lymph nodes or organs throughout the body
- Angioimmunoblastic lymphoma – Has a distinctive appearance under a microscope and may cause symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite and fatigue
- Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified – Any lymphoma that pathologists and clinicians cannot classify with certainty
If you would like more information about the types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you are welcome to request an appointment with a lymphoma specialist in the Malignant Hematology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. To do so, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete our new patient registration form online. We provide every new patient with rapid access to a cancer expert.