What causes Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

No one knows for certain but it is more likely to develop in people who have taken drugs following an organ transplant to prevent rejection, or those have lowered immunity, however, it is still an uncommon occurrence.

Viruses such as the Epstein Barr virus, (glandular fever) can contribute to the development of lymphomas


Can NHL be passed on?

NHL (Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) is not infectious and cannot be passed on to other people.

NHL cannot be interited


What is NHL?

NHL is a cancer of the lymphatic system called lymphoma. There are two types of Hodgkin’s disease. One is simply called Hodgkin’s disease, and the other is Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma of which there are about 20 different types. (Dr Hodgkin first described it, hence the name)

Diagram of the Lymph Nodes and details relating to Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

What is the difference between NHL and Hodgkin’s disease?

In simple terms, the difference is seen under the microscope, where Hodgkin’s disease shows a particular cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell, and this is not found in other lmphomas, so they are called Non Hodgkin’s Lymphomas (NHL).

The difference may seem very small, but the treatment for the different types is very different.


So it is a proper cancer or a variant?

It is a proper cancer in its own right.

There are over 20 different types, but they all start when the division of cells gets out of control and the cells continue to multiply, with the possibility of a lump or tumour developing in one or more groups of lymph nodes.


What are lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes or lymph glands are part of the lymphatic system, which is itself part of the immune system, the body’s natural defence against disease and infection. The nodes that you are most likely to notice are in the neck, armpit and groin areas. For example, if you have a sore throat, you may notice that the lymph nodes in the neck become swollen, which is a sign that the body is fighting the infection.



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