Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of lymphoma, which is a general term for cancers that develop in lymphatic tissue.

If you have non-Hodgkin lymphoma, your lymphocytes become damaged. They grow abnormally and multiply uncontrollably, causing your lymph nodes to enlarge and form painless lumps called tumours. As the abnormal lymphocytes replace the normal ones, your immune system becomes less effective.

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma may cause different symptoms depending on its location in the body. Symptoms may include:

  • painless swelling of a lymph node (e.g. in the neck, underarm or groin)
  • unexplained and regular fevers
  • excessive sweating, particularly at night
  • unintentional weight loss
  • tiredness and lethargy
  • itchy skin. 

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma statistics

  • About 4000 Australians are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma each year.
  • Most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma occur in adults aged 65 years and older.
  • The risk of developing it increases as you get older. However, it can also occur in children and young adults.

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The aim of this information is to help you understand about non-Hodgkin lymphoma . We cannot advise you about the best treatment for you. You need to discuss this with your doctors. However, we hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you think about the questions you would like to ask your doctors or other health carers.