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Types of Lymphoma

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Updated July 09, 2009

There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's lymphoma and non Hodgkin's lymphoma. While both types of cancer develop in the same way, the single factor that distinguishes the two is a single type of cell - the Reed Sternberg cell. This cancerous cell type is found only in Hodgkin's Lymphoma and can be distinguished from other types of Lymphoma by the way it appears under a microscope.

Furthermore, Hodgkin's lymphoma and non Hodgkin's lymphoma grow and spread in different ways. If a lymphoma diagnosis is made and does not contain the Reed-Sternberg variant, the cancer can then only be Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Also called Hodgkin's disease, Hodgkin's lymphoma is cancer of the lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and bone marrow.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma covers a far more broad range of cancer cells. There are about 30 different types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. These types of lymphoma can be difficult to diagnose as there are so many types. The most common subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphopma are:

T-Cell Lymphomas
  • Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
  • Enteropathy type T-cell lymphoma
  • Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
  • Anaplastic large T/null-cell lymphoma
  • Subcutaneous panniculitis-like T-cell lymphoma
  • Unspecified T-cell lymphoma


B-cell Lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma
  • Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphomas - mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Hairy cell leukemia
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma
  • Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
  • Lymphoplasmocytic lymphoma
  • Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma
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