Surgery for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Surgery is often used to get a biopsy sample to diagnose and classify a lymphoma, but it’s rarely used as a form of treatment.

Rarely, surgery may be used to treat lymphomas that start in the spleen or in certain organs outside the lymph system, such as the thyroid or stomach, and that have not spread beyond these organs. But for treating lymphoma that’s completely confined to one area, radiation therapy is usually preferred over surgery.

For more information about treating cancer with surgery, see  Cancer Surgery.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master's-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Freedman AS, Jacobson CA, Mauch P, Aster JC. Chapter 103: Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2015.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment. 2018. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/lymphoma/hp/adult-nhl-treatment-pdq on May 3, 2018.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Practice Guidelines in Oncology: B-cell Lymphomas. Version 3.2018. Accessed at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/b-cell.pdf     on May 2, 2018.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma. Version 5.2018. Accessed at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/cll.pdf   on May 2, 2018.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Practice Guidelines in Oncology: T-cell Lymphomas. Version 3.2018. Accessed at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/t-cell.pdf   on May 2, 2018.

Roschewski MJ, Wilson WH. Chapter 106: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2014.

Last Medical Review: August 1, 2018 Last Revised: August 1, 2018

American Cancer Society medical information is copyrighted material. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.