Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system, the system responsible for fighting infections and draining excess fluid from body tissues. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a general name given to many types of cancer that develop from white blood cells (lymphocytes) in your lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is different from Hodgkin's lymphoma , a related type of cancer.

In general, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are divided into two main groups: aggressive (or high grade) and indolent (or low grade). They may also be described by the type of cells found within the lymphoma (mantle cell, T cell, or B cell) or the pattern of grown within the tissue (diffuse or follicular)

The Lymphatic System

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Lymphoma occurs when lymph cells, or lymphocytes, divide uncontrollably. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. However, if cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms. This is called a growth or tumor. The term “cancer” refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body.

The cause of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is unknown.

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, about 66,120 Americans will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma this year. It is the fifth most common cancer in the US.

What are the risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
How is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed?
What are the treatments for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Are there screening tests for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
How can I reduce my risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
What questions should I ask my doctor?
What is it like to live with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Where can I get more information about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?