iCliniq logo

Ask a Doctor Online Now

HomeAnswersHematologynon-hodgkin lymphomaI want to understand about non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Please explain.

Please explain about non-Hodgkin lymphoma in detail.


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At October 30, 2015
Reviewed AtJune 7, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma? What can cause NHL? Which age group is more commonly affected? Can NHL occur without any family history? Does all left supraclavicular (Virchow's node) node is associated with lymphoma? Can single small but persistent size of lymph node enough for NHL? Why my lymph node is not getting bigger in its size?

How fever is related to cancer or NHL? Can NHL or lymphoma or any other form of cancer occur without any symptoms such as fever, weight loss or night sweat? In NHL, the lymph node can develop inside a chest, in the abdomen and inner side of the body. How can we feel them? Which kind of symptoms occurs if they are in? Please explain.

In NHL, How to know the swelling of stomach, spleen, and liver as it is not visible outside? Can a cough occur in NHL? In NHL or lymphoma, can we get any clue from the change (decrease or increase) in the level of blood cells such as WBC and platelets?

Answered by Dr. Prakash. H. M.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a group of lymphomas, which does not fall into the classification of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Anything which does not fit the criteria of Hodgkin's is NHL.

NHL can be caused due to a viral infection like Epstein Barr Virus, radiation, immune-modifying drugs, etc. Any age group can be affected, but particularly above 50 years. Yes, it can occur even without any previous family history.

No, it can rise in infections from surrounding areas or even another type of cancers. Virchow's node is one classically for gastric cancer metastasis to that node.

Single lymph node, even if persistent is not a classical sign of lymphoma. Usually increase in size, multiple lymph nodes involvement and at two or more sites like axillae, femoral, etc. Single site, single lymph node which is persistent, is usually due to chronic inflammation.

Due to chronic inflammation over a long time, intra-lymph node fibrosis (just like scar tissue) must have formed, which would not allow it to reduce in size. So, it will remain the same size. If there is no change in size, then nothing to worry about.

Cancer particularly NHL can reduce immunity and increase the possibility of infection and hence fever. Also, in cancers, increased metabolism occurs, which can result in increased metabolic rate and hence sweating or fever can be seen. Night sweats particularly indicate cancer or NHL.

Usually, some symptoms will be found. Depends on the location, the involvement of other areas and the stage symptoms can vary. This way, all cancers start small and are not detectable, even by best methods.

Internal lymph nodes require radiological investigation like CT and ultrasound for evaluation. Based on symptoms, if any, it can be evaluated. If doubtful, get a lymph node biopsy of the Virchow's node to confirm.

You can find spleen and liver enlargement by radiological investigations or deep palpation. Stomach requires a definite ultrasound. A cough is not a classical symptom of NHL and usually, in lymphomas, bloods levels are not affected.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Prakash. H. M.
Dr. Prakash. H. M.


Community Banner Mobile
By subscribing, I agree to iCliniq's Terms & Privacy Policy.

Ask your health query to a doctor online


*guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. iCliniq privacy policy