What are the types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?
On this page:
T-cell and B-cell lymphomas
This describes which type of lymphocyte white blood cells are affected.
B-cell lymphocyte white blood cells are affected. B-cells are made in your bone marrow and make antibodies to fight infection.
T-cell lymphocytes are affected. T-cells are made in your thymus gland behind your breastbone and help your immune system fight infection and disease in other ways. T-cell lymphomas are rare.
Low-grade and high-grade lymphomas
Low grade and high grade describe how quickly the lymphoma is growing, based on how the cells look under the microscope.
Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) refers to a range of different slow-growing lymphomas. They may need little or no treatment for months or even years. The speed of their growth might change over time and there may be times when the disease is more active. After treatment, low-grade lymphomas usually get smaller or even disappear altogether. Some types of low-grade lymphoma can be completely controlled with treatment. If they do return, they can be treated again.
Lymphoma cells can sometimes change gradually over time. Some of the small cells can grow larger, giving rise to a mixture of cells. These larger cells are more likely to be faster growing and signal your disease is becoming more like a high-grade lymphoma. This is called transformation. Transformation is more common in B-cell lymphomas. If any part of your lymphoma has transformed, you will be treated as having high-grade lymphoma.
High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma
High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) refers to a range of different fast-growing lymphomas. They usually cause symptoms and will need treatment straight away. It is possible to cure most of them, i.e. have a complete remission.
There are more than 50 subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. See our booklets Understanding low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Understanding high-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma for more details about the most common ones or call our Support Line on 1800 200 700 .
For more information
1800 200 700