Types of lymphoma


There are 2 main types of lymphoma:  

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the most common type of lymphoma, accounting for about 90% of cases[3]
  • Hodgkin lymphoma (also called Hodgkin’s disease) is a rare type of cancer. 

These 2 types are classified by how the lymphoma cells look under a microscope. Each of these lymphomas have different sub-types. 

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

There are many different types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These are classified into 2 groups based on type of lymphocyte affected and how fast the cancer is growing: 

  • B-cell lymphomas, which start in B lymphocytes (white blood cells that produce antibodies). These are the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Australia, accounting for around 85%[4] cases. 
  • T-cell lymphomas, which start in cells called T lymphocytes (white blood cells that attack foreign cells as part of the immune system). These account for around 15%[5] of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases in Australia. 

Types of B-cell lymphoma include: 

  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (the most common type of B-cell lymphoma) 
  • follicular lymphoma 
  • small lymphocytic lymphoma (also called chronic lymphocytic leukaemia) 
  • mantle cell lymphoma 
  • marginal zone B-cell lymphoma 
  • Burkitt lymphoma 
  • lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (Waldenstrom macroglobulinaemia) 
  • hairy cell leukaemia (this is sometimes considered to be a type of lymphoma) 
  • primary central nervous system lymphoma. 

Types of T-cell lymphoma include: 

  • precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (sometimes called precursor T-lymphoblastic leukaemia) 
  • peripheral T-cell lymphoma 
  • cutaneous (skin) T-cell lymphoma (skin lymphoma can also be a type of B-cell lymphoma). 

Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is divided into 2 groups: 

  • classical Hodgkin lymphoma – this makes up about 95% of all cases of Hodgkin lymphoma in developed countries 
  • nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. 

Types of classical Hodgkin lymphoma include:: 

  • nodular sclerosis (the most common type of classical Hodgkin lymphoma) 
  • mixed cellularity 
  • lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin lymphoma 
  • lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin lymphoma. 

Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma occur more often in adults, but these cancers can affect children and teenagers. 

In children, Hodgkin lymphoma is more likely to affect older children and teenagers, while non-Hodgkin lymphoma tends to occur more often in younger children[6]. The most common types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children are: 

  • lymphoblastic lymphoma 
  • Burkitt lymphoma 
  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma 
  • anaplastic large cell lymphoma. 


1. https://www.cancer.org.au/assets/pdf/understanding-hodgkin-lymphoma-booklet

2. https://www.cancer.org.au/assets/pdf/understanding-hodgkin-lymphoma-booklet

3. https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/types-of-cancer/lymphoma

4. https://www.cancer.org.au/assets/pdf/understanding-non-hodgkin-lymphoma-booklet

5. https://www.cancer.org.au/assets/pdf/understanding-non-hodgkin-lymphoma-booklet

6. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/childhood-non-hodgkin-lymphoma/about/non-hodgkin-lymphomainchildren.html