What are the types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?


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T-cell and B-cell lymphomas 

B-cell lymphoma

B-cell lymphocyte white blood cells are affected. B-cells are made in your bone marrow and make antibodies to fight infection. 

T-cell lymphoma

T-cell lymphocyte white blood cells 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 and mainly affect children and young adults.

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 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.


Sometimes the lymphoma cells can change. The cells may become more like high-grade cells. This is called transformation. If this happens you will be treated as having high-grade lymphoma.

High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma

High-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma refers to a range of different fast-growing lymphomas. They may cause serious ill health if not treated quickly. These are also called aggressive lymphomas. They can be either B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas.

They usually cause symptoms and will need treatment straight away. It is possible to cure most of them.


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 Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 . 

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