Skip to main content
Treatment

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands found throughout your body.

The main symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is swollen glands that do not go away.

The main treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy and anti-cancer medicines called monoclonal antibodies.

The exact cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown. It's more common in people who have a weakened immune system.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is swollen glands that do not go away.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

Lymph nodes, also known as lymph glands, are pea-sized lumps of tissue found throughout the body.

They contain white blood cells that help to fight against infection.

The swelling is caused by a certain type of white blood cell, known as lymphocytes, collecting in the lymph node.

But it's highly unlikely you have non-Hodgkin lymphoma if you have swollen lymph nodes, as these glands often swell as a response to infection.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main treatments for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy and anti-cancer medicines called monoclonal antibodies.

Medical treatments

There are many subtypes of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but they can generally be put into 1 of 2 broad categories:

  • high-grade or aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma – where the cancer grows quickly and aggressively
  • low-grade or indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma – where the cancer grows slowly and you may not experience any symptoms for many years

The outlook and treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma varies greatly, depending on the exact type, grade and extent of the lymphoma, and the person's age.

Low-grade tumours do not necessarily require immediate medical treatment, but are harder to completely cure.

High-grade lymphomas need to be treated straight away, but tend to respond much better to treatment and can often be cured.

The main treatments used for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are:

Overall, most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are considered very treatable.

Read more on the NHS website.

The exact cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown. It's more common in people who have a weakened immune system.

Read more on the NHS website.