What Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

"Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)" describes a group of cancers that affect the white blood cells in the lymphatic system. NHL is one of the most common types of cancer and occurs much more frequently than Hodgkin lymphoma, which is marked by the presence of a specific type of cell – Reed-Sternberg cells.

Types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be classified into two main categories:

  • B-cell lymphomas, which are more common and affect the B cells in the bone marrow
  • T-cell lymphomas, which affect the T cells in the thymus

Each of these categories contains many more sub-categories. In fact, there are dozens of different types of NHL, which are typically identified by the type of lymphocyte that is affected. Some types are fast-growing (aggressive) while others are slow-growing (indolent).

Diagnosis and treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Patients with a form of NHL may experience swelling of the lymph nodes, fever, unexpected weight loss, lethargy and night sweats. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a physician to receive a diagnosis, as these symptoms can be caused by a number of other, more common conditions.

If your physician confirms that NHL is the cause of your symptoms, there are a number of treatment options available. Your individual treatment plan will depend on many factors, such as the type of lymphoma, the stage of cancer, your general health and many other considerations. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment from a physician with a high level of experience addressing NHL. At Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty team collaborates in regular tumor board meetings to ensure each patient receives an individualized treatment plan. We’ll develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs to give you the best chance of a positive outcome and an improved quality of life.

To learn more about non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the diagnostic and treatment options available at Moffitt, call 1-888-663-3488 or fill out a new patient registration form online. We do not require a referral to schedule an appointment.