Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
March 19, 2022

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the name given to a group of cancers made up of specialized immune cells. Common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), follicular lymphoma, small lymphocytic lymphoma, and Burkitt lymphoma.

How do pathologists make this diagnosis?

The diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is sometimes made after a small sample of tissue is removed in a procedure called a biopsy or fine-needle aspiration (FNA). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma on its own is a preliminary diagnosis. If you have received a preliminary diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you should receive a more specific diagnosis with the type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after a larger piece of tissue is removed and sent to pathology for examination.


Treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma is based on the specific type of lymphoma and the stage of the disease. Talk to your doctor about the treatment options available for you.

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