What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes. It's the 6th most common type of cancer in adults. 

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The most common symptom of NHL is one or more painless swellings in the neck, armpit or groin.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis

Find out what to expect when you see a GP, when you might see a specialist and the tests you may need.

Types and grades of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Doctors also give NHL a grade, depending on how quickly it is likely to grow. 


Survival depends on many factors including the stage and type of your non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). 


Your treatment depends on the type, grade and stage of your non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Treatment might include chemotherapy, targeted drugs, steroids, radiotherapy and transplants.

Stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The stage shows whether the non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is in one area of your body (localised) or has spread to other areas. There are 4 stages for NHL.

Research and clinical trials

Read about the latest research into non-Hodgkin lymphoma and see how you can take part in a clinical trial.

Living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Get advice and support to help you cope during and after your treatment.

Risks and causes

Factors that increase the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma include certain types of infection, a weakened immune system or a previous history of cancer and treatment. 

Last reviewed: 
12 Feb 2024
Next review due: 
12 Feb 2027