There are over 60 different subtypes of lymphoma, which are split into two main groups– Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lymphomas can also be divided into high-grade (fast growing) or low-grade (slow growing) types. Most young people have high-grade lymphomas. This may sound worrying but high-grade lymphomas are more likely to go into long-term remission than low-grade lymphomas, which tend to relapse.
hodgkin lymphoma (HL)
Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common than Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in young people. Hodgkin lymphoma develops when a lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) becomes out of control. There are 2 types – B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells). These abnormal cells are called Reed–Sternberg cells, Non- Hodgkin lymphomas do not contain this type of cell.
non-hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
Any other lymphoma without these cells is called a non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). As with Hodgkin lymphoma - lymphoma occurs when a lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) becomes out of control. There are 2 types – B lymphocytes (B cells) and T lymphocytes (T cells). The majority of NHL is B cells.
There are lots of different types of NHL. To make things clearer, doctors put non-Hodgkin lymphomas into two groups depending on how fast they grow and spread.
Low-grade NHL: this usually develops slowly and is said to be a more ‘chronic’ disease. This means that people may not need treatment for many years and will be on ‘watch and wait’.
High-grade NHL: this refers to lymphoma that usually grows faster and is more aggressive than others. People with high-grade lymphomas are often more likely to be treated successfully and stay in remission than people with low-grade lymphomas.
For further information on the types of lymphoma – please visit our mates Lymphoma Action