Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Lymphoma refers to a family of cancers of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for fighting disease and infection and includes organs, tissues and blood vessels.

Lymphomas are divided into two categories, Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also called NHL, begins when a lymphocyte or white blood cell (usually a B cell) of the lymphatic system becomes abnormal. The abnormal cell divides, making copies of itself, again and again, making more and more abnormal cells.

The abnormal cells don’t die as they should, and they also don’t do their normal function – to protect the body from infections or other diseases. Instead, the buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Because lymphatic tissue is in many parts of the body, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can form almost anywhere, although it is usually found first in a lymph node.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, visit our guide for newly diagnosed lymphoma patients. The cancer specialists at WVCI are available to answer any questions you may have about a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis. 

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Review the information below to learn more about non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, including:

Or, you can also visit our other pages in this section for more information, including:

Types of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

There are many types of NHL, each identified by a particular abnormal or cancer cell. When lymphoma is found, our pathologist figures out its type, which is important to properly figure out treatment. The two most common types of NHL are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

Rate of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Growth

NHL is assigned a group based on how quickly it is likely to grow:

  • Indolent (also called low-grade) lymphomas grow slowly. They tend to cause few symptoms.
  • Aggressive (also called intermediate-grade and high-grade) lymphomas grow and spread more quickly. They tend to cause severe symptoms. Over time, many indolent lymphomas become aggressive lymphomas.

Second Opinions

It’s a good idea to get a second opinion about the type of lymphoma you have. The treatment plan varies with the patient’s type of lymphoma. A pathologist at a major referral center can review your biopsy. Read here for more information about second opinions. Contact us today to meet with one of our oncologists located throughout Willamette Valley including CorvallisEugeneFlorence, and Lincoln City.

Visit the National Cancer Institute where this information and more can be found about non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or contact us so we can discuss more your individual situation.

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