Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system drains excess fluid from tissues. It also helps protect against infections.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a name that applies to many types of lymphomas. These types are based on the cell that is involved and the patterns of growth.

In general, these types can be classified as:

  • Slow growing lymphomas, also known as indolent lymphomas
  • Aggressive lymphomas
  • Highly aggressive lymphomas

These cancers are different from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The Lymphatic System
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Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide out of control or order. If cells keep dividing, a mass of tissue forms. These are called growths or tumors. If the tumor is cancer, it is called malignant. It can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

The cause of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is unknown. DNA mutations that occur after birth may be related to this cancer. These mutations can occur as a result of exposure to radiation or cancer-causing chemicals. They may also occur with age or for no apparent reason.