Lymphoma Stages


There are four stages of both Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin's lymphoma. This entry covers non-Hodgkin's lymphomas only, and does not cover primary cutaneous lymphoma, which has its own staging system.

Each of the lymphoma stages signifies an advance of the cancer from the primary site to another site in the body.

Lymphoma Stages

Stage I

The cancer has affected a single lymphatic site. This could be, for example:

  • Any nodal region
  • The thymus
  • The spleen

It could also indicate the cancer has affected a single extra-lymphatic site without involving any lymph nodes.

Stage II

The cancer has affected two or more lymph node regions, but both must be on the same side of the body's diaphragm.

It may also refer to a cancer that has involved a single extra-lymphatic organ or site in association with involvement of lymph nodes in the same region of the body.

Stage III

The cancer has affected lymph node regions on both sides of the diaphragm.

It may also indicate the involvement of the spleen or by extra-lymphatic extension in association with adjacent lymph node involvement, or both of those situations.

Stage IV

The cancer is showing diffuse or disseminated involvement of one or more extra-lymphatic organs with or without regional lymph node involvement.

This stage is also designated if the following organs are involved, regardless of the spread of the disease:

  • Liver
  • Bone Marrow
  • Lungs
  • Cerebrospinal fluid


The American Joint Committee on Cancer: Cancer Staging Handbook (7th ed)

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