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non-Hodg·kin lym·pho·ma (NHL),
non-Hodgkin lymphoma(nŏn′hŏj′kĭn) or
non-Hodg·kin lym·pho·ma(non-hoj'kin lim-fō'mă)
non-Hodgkin lymphomaAbbreviation: NHL
Painless lymphadenopathy in two thirds of patients is the most frequent presenting symptom. Others have fever, night sweats, and loss of 10% or more of body weight in the 6 months before presenting with symptoms of infiltration into nonlymphoid tissue. Additional involvement is in peripheral areas such as epitrochlear nodes, the tonsillar area, and bone marrow. NHL is 50% more frequent in occurrence in men than in women of similar age. In most cases the cause of NHL is unknown, but patients who have received immunosuppressive agents have an over 100 times greater chance of developing NHL, probably because the immunosuppressive agents activate tumor viruses.
Specific therapy depends on the type, grade, and stage of the lymphoma. Combination chemotherapies, bone marrow transplantation, radiation therapy, and photochemotherapy may be given, depending on the specific diagnosis.