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.

Getting diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

You usually start by seeing your GP. They might refer you to a specialist doctor (haematologist) and organise tests. 

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 for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Survival depends on many factors. This includes what type of NHL you have, how fast it is growing (the grade) and how far it has grown (the stage).  

Treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Your treatment depends on the type and stage of your NHL. Common treatments include chemotherapy, targeted and immunotherapy drugs, radiotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The stage tells you about the number and places in your body that are affected by lymphoma.  There are 4 stages for NHL. Or doctors describe it as either early or advanced stage.

Research and clinical trials

Researchers around the world are looking at treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

Living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Practical and emotional support is available to help you cope with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Risks and causes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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