Symptoms and Signs of Lymphoma (Hodgkin's Disease and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma)

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 7/15/2022

Doctor's Notes on Lymphoma (Hodgkin's Disease and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma)

Lymphoma is a type of cancer of the cells of the immune system. Lymphomas are broadly divided into two groups: Hodgkin lymphomas (Hodgkin's disease) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL. Within these categories there are many different subtypes of lymphomas that differ in their behavior and response to treatment. The cause of lymphoma is not completely understood. It is likely that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development.

Symptoms and signs of lymphoma can include enlargement of the lymph nodes anywhere in the body. This enlargement (often referred to as swollen glands) is usually painless. In some cases, other associated symptoms and signs can occur, including

What Is the Treatment of Lymphoma?

The treatment of lymphoma is dependent on the exact type of lymphoma that is present. Laboratory tests to determine the presence of specific markers on the cancer cells can classify the type of lymphoma. In general, treatments may include the following:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy using antibodies that target lymphoma cells
  • Targeted therapy, which uses drugs developed to target specific molecular abnormalities identified in the cancer cells
  • Stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant), using your own cells or donor cells
  • CAR-T therapy, which engineers your own T cells to fight the cancer
  • Surveillance, for certain slow-growing lymphomas

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.