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Follicular lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma is a type of slow-growing blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It affects white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Wendy, living with follicular lymphoma, and her new granddaughter

Follicular lymphoma at a glance

Follicular lymphoma is the most common type of of low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). It develops when white blood cells cluster together to form lumps in your lymph glands or organs.

There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be fast growing (high grade) or slow growing (low grade).

Around 4000 people develop low-grade NHL in the UK each year. It’s more common in older people, and rare in children.

Read more about follicular lymphoma

We don’t know exactly what causes follicular lymphoma. Some factors that may increase your risk are:

  • age
  • sex
  • family history
  • infections

Find more on causes of follicular lymphoma

The most common symptom is swollen glands (lumps) in your neck, armpit or groin.

There's a range of tests to diagnose follicular lymphoma and check how it's developing.

More information on symptoms and diagnosis of follicular lymphoma

Depending on your symptoms and stage of your condition, you may not need treatment. You may be put on ‘watch and wait’ – where you are carefully monitored by your healthcare team.

If you do need treatment, you may have chemotherapy along with immunotherapy.

Read more about follicular lymphoma treatment and side effects

Follicular lymphoma not usually curable, but it can be treated so you can enjoy a good quality of life. The aim of treatment is to get you into remission (where the amount of lymphoma is significantly reduced).

People who have no symptoms may not need treatment for a long time, if at all.

Read more on the prognosis for follicular lymphoma.

Rob and family having fun cooking

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