Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma


This is a cancer of the lymphatic system. This system helps clear infections and manage fluids throughout your body. It's an important part of your immune system.

Non-Hodgkin vs. Hodgkin

There are two types of lymphatic system cancers, which are known as lymphomas. One is non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The other is called Hodgkin lymphoma. The two cancers look different under a microscope. They behave differently in your body. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common. It's also more difficult to treat.


Doctors aren't sure what causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It can start in two types of lymphocytes, B cells or T cells. These are white blood cells that travel through your lymphatic system. When one of these cells mutates, it begins to divide rapidly. It creates abnormal cells. They grow and spread through your lymph nodes.


Symptoms may include a painless swelling of the lymph nodes. You may notice swelling in your neck, armpits or groin. You may have fatigue, fever and night sweats. You may have a loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause swelling of the abdomen, and pain or pressure in the chest. It can cause coughing or shortness of breath. It can also cause anemia.


Treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer. You may benefit from frequent monitoring, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, a stem cell transplant or other options. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.