Pathology dictionary

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer made up of cells from the immune system. Lymphomas are divided into two main groups called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a large group that includes many types of lymphoma.

Common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

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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