Select Page

Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin)

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer of the lymphatic system. There are many types of NHL. Some grow very slowly and may not need treatment for months or years. In some cases they may never need treatment. Other types grow quickly and need treatment soon after diagnosis.

How does non-Hodgkin lymphoma develop?

NHL, like other types of cancer, is a disease of the body’s cells. The body is made up of cells that need to be replaced as they age or are damaged. This happens by cell division, which is when a cell divides and makes a new copy of itself. Normally, cell division is carefully controlled so the right amount of cells is made to meet the needs of the body. However, if this process gets out of control for some reason, too many cells are made and a cancer can develop. In NHL, blood cells called lymphocytes become abnormal. These abnormal lymphocytes (lymphoma cells) keep dividing and grow out of the body’s control. Over time, the number of lymphoma cells increases and they form a lump called a tumor. The most common place for this to happen is in the lymph nodes. But, NHL can begin in almost any part of the body including; the stomach, small bowel, skin, tonsils, thyroid or testicles. Lymphoma that grows outside the lymph nodes is called extranodal lymphoma. Because lymphocytes travel around the body, NHL can spread from where it first started. It can spread through the lymphatic system from lymph nodes in one part of the body to lymph nodes elsewhere. Lymphoma cells can also travel in the bloodstream to organs such as the bone marrow, liver or lungs. When the lymphoma cells reach a new area, they may carry on dividing and form a new tumor.

There are many different types of NHL. It’s important your doctors know which type you have so that they can give you the best treatment. Lymphomas are often described as B-cell lymphomas or T-cell lymphomas according to whether they began in B-cell lymphocytes or T-cell lymphocytes.

Type of B-cell lymphomas

B-cell lymphomas are more common than T-cell lymphomas. About 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with NHL have a B-cell lymphoma.
The most common types of B-cell lymphomas are:

  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)
  • follicular lymphoma (FL)

Other less common types include:

  • extranodal marginal zone B-cell – MALT
  • mantle cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma
  • nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
  • small lymphocytic lymphoma
  • lymphaplasmacytic lymphoma(also called Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinaemia)

Types of T-cell lymphomas

T-cell lymphomas  are much less common. There are a number of different types, including:

  • peripheral T-cell lymphoma
  • skin (cutaneous) lymphomas, including Mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome
  • anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma

Indolent and aggressive lymphomas

Lymphomas are also often grouped as either indolent or aggressive.

Indolent lymphomas (sometimes called low-grade)

These grow very slowly and may need little or no treatment for months or possibly years. Some people will never need treatment. Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most common type of indolent NHL.

Aggressive lymphomas (sometimes called high-grade)

These grow more quickly. They usually cause symptoms and need immediate treatment. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of aggressive lymphoma.

One type of lymphoma, called mantle cell lymphoma, sits between indolent and aggressive lymphoma and is often treated as an aggressive lymphoma.

Central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma

A lymphoma is a malignant tumor of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps defend us against infection and disease. Lymphomas that start in the brain are called primary CNS lymphomas and are rare. People who have a weak immune system are more at risk of getting this type of tumor

Become a Patient

At The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, our board-certified physicians provide cancer treatment to more than 12,000 patients annually at our locations in Fort Worth – Central Campus, Fort Worth – Southwest, Arlington, Weatherford, Burleson, Granbury, Mineral Wells, and Stephenville. We offer you the latest advances in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, and biological therapy. We also offer you the opportunity to take advantage of groundbreaking cancer treatment available only through clinical trials and cancer research.


The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System is a non-invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of both cancerous and non-cancerous tumors anywhere in the body, including the prostate, lung, brain, spine, liver, pancreas and kidney. The treatment – which...

SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel

The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders now Offers Innovative SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel to Benefit Patients Undergoing Treatment for Prostate Cancer. SpaceOAR Hydrogel is Clinically Shown to Help Reduce Risk of Side Effects after Radiation Treatment. SpaceOAR™ Hydrogel –...

Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery

Each year, approximately 253,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer that requires surgery. Many women are unaware of all the surgical options available, including less invasive approaches that can help restore their self-image and allow them to begin the emotional...

Nutritional Counseling

Good nutrition is essential for supporting you throughout your cancer treatment. Our registered and licensed dietitians can work with you to help lessen some of the side effects you may experience, which will not only help to ensure you are getting good nutrition, but...

Integrative Medicine

The Center TX also offers integrative medicine for our cancer patients under the direction of Dr. Oseni. Integrative medicine seeks to restore and maintain the health and wellness of cancer patients by understanding the patient’s unique set of circumstances and...

Complementary / Integrative Services

These services are for established patients. All support services are by appointment. Ancillary techniques and ancillary tests are those that assist in the diagnosis and/or treatment and are not necessarily a part of the original diagnosis and/or...


Chemotherapy is a cancer-fighting methodology that uses either stand-alone drugs or a combination of drugs to relieve pain symptoms, control the growth of cancer cells and, ideally, eliminate cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used alone or in conjunction with surgery...

Clinical Trials

The physicians and staff at The Center firmly believe that giving our patients the opportunity to access the latest innovative and cutting edge therapies on cancer clinical trials represents the highest level of care that we can offer our patients. Our practice is...

Diagnostic Imaging

The earlier a cancer is detected, the better the chances of treating it. Because diagnostic imaging produces pictures of what’s going on inside the body, it’s a vital tool that can not only detect certain cancers like breast or lung cancer, it can be utilized as the...


The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders offers an onsite medically integrated pharmacy. Our certified pharmacist is here to answer any questions and provide easy access to the medication you need.  The pharmacy is open during business hours and provides a quick...

Contact Us

Ask a question or book an appointment below.

For emergencies call 911 or visit your nearest hospital.

Please be aware that our phone options have changed, listen carefully when calling in for the new options.