One of two general types of lymphomas (cancers that begin in lymphatic tissues and can invade other organs) differing from Hodgkin's disease (HD) by a lack of Hodgkin's-specific Reed-Sternberg cells.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is a cancer of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that moves around the body as part of its role in the immune system. NHL is much less predictable than HD and is more likely to spread to areas beyond the lymph nodes.
NHL is comprised of approximately 10 subtypes and 20 different disease entities. Division is based on whether the lymphoma is low grade (progressing slowly) or high grade (progressing rapidly). NHL is also grouped according to cell type—B cells or T cells. Physicians can diagnose the type of lymphoma by performing a biopsy, in which a lymph node is removed and examined in the laboratory. Some of the Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma types include: Burkitt's lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, follicular center lymphoma, and mantle cell lymphoma.