What is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma happens when white blood cells grow abnormally in your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system plays a part in helping your body fight off infections. When you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer cells can spread through the lymph nodes in this system.

There are several types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most often, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affects a type of white blood cell called B cells. Overall, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the top 10 most common types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

It’s common to have questions about your type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To guide your journey, we offer patient navigators who can answer your questions and connect you with care.

Navigate your care

Why Baylor Scott & White Health for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment

For decades, we’ve provided advanced treatment options for blood cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Within our system, you’ll have access to a team of providers who offer you a tailored treatment plan for your specific health and type of cancer.

Because we have a large network of cancer care locations, you can often get routine care for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma near where you live or work. And we also provide you with access to many services beyond basic non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment, such as advanced procedures, innovative clinical trials and support services. Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, has one of the nation's oldest blood and marrow transplant programs and is the first North Texas provider to offer adult commercial use of CAR-T.

We offer you:

  • A team approach to caring for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Convenient North and Central Texas cancer care locations
  • Advanced options for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, including immunotherapy and CAR-T
  • Blood and marrow transplant services
  • Pediatric non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma care at Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s
  • Access to a diverse portfolio of Phase I, II and III clinical trials and research studies aimed at advancing expanding screening, prevention, diagnostic, and treatment options for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Support resources and events
  • Patient navigation program
  • Survivorship program to care for you after non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment

Baylor Scott & White Health is the third largest network of cancer centers accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

Certain Baylor Scott & White Health locations are accredited by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) for quality in cellular therapy, including blood and marrow transplantation and immunotherapies.

Commission on Cancer

Baylor Scott & White Health is the third-largest network of cancer centers accredited by the Commission on Cancer.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is swelling in a lymph node. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can affect lymph nodes all over your body, but swollen lymph nodes are often first noticed in the groin, neck or under your arm.

Some people have no symptoms of the disease, while others experience non-Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms such as:

  • Fevers
  • Night sweats
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Itchy skin or rashes
  • Fatiga
  • Abdominal pain or swelling

This is not an exhaustive list, and these non-Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms can be linked to other conditions, too. Seek medical care if you have questions concerning non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Risk factors and causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is caused when abnormal white blood cells start to grow out of control, but the exact reason why this starts isn’t known.

Researchers continue to study the causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but they’ve identified a few factors that may put you more at risk.

Some non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk factors include:

  • Being over 60 years old
  • Being male
  • Some infections, like HIV or the Epstein-Barr virus
  • Previous transplant or cancer treatment
  • Some autoimmune conditions
  • Exposure to certain chemicals

Diagnosing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

When you have symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your cancer doctor will look at your comprehensive medical history and perform a physical exam to look at the size of your lymph nodes and other organs.

You may also have a lymph node biopsy, during which your doctor removes either a sample of tissue using a needle or an entire lymph node. A lab then tests the biopsy tissue and cells to diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Because non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can develop in different parts of the body, additional tests may be needed to identify your specific subtype, stage and develop a treatment plan.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment


We offer many treatment options to give you hope in your fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To target your specific type of cancer, you’ll have a team of care providers that works together to plan your non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatments based on your diagnosis, stage and overall health status. Often, you’ll have more than one non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment as a part of your blood cancer care plan.

Trasplante de sangre y médula

A high dose of chemotherapy can destroy both your healthy cells and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells. A blood and marrow transplant puts healthy marrow cells back into your body to help it produce new blood cells.

More on blood and marrow transplants

CAR-T therapy

CAR-T therapy uses your own modified T cells to help your immune system fight blood cancers, including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Our healthcare system includes the first site in North Texas to offer FDA-approved CAR-T therapy for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

More on CAR-T therapy


Chemotherapy is often used for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment. You’ll likely receive more than one chemo drug based on your type of blood cancer. Sometimes, chemo is used together with immunotherapy drugs to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms.

More on chemotherapy

Ensayos clínicos

The research underway at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute can give you even more hope for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Search our current clinical trials to learn more.

Encuentre un ensayo clínico

Investigación sobre el cáncer


Immunotherapy uses specific cells or proteins to help your own immune system attack non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Common immunotherapies to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include CAR-T therapy or monoclonal antibodies.

More on Immunotherapy

El manejo del dolor

You may have painful side effects due to your non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms. Your care plan will include options to manage pain, including any pain caused by your non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment.

Learn more about pain management services

Terapia de radiación

Radiation targets the cancerous cells in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to destroy them. You may have radiation therapy along with other blood cancer treatments. It can also be used to relieve advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms.

More on radiation therapy

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma support

Whether you’re celebrating the end of your treatment or the road ahead feels long, we’re here for you. We offer programs and education to support you during your fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Our patient navigators can help answer your questions, plan the next steps and connect you to quality care. After treatment, our survivorship program continues to give you the support you need in the months and years to come.