What is it?

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The cells of the lymphatic system, called lymphocytes, are responsible for fighting infections, and are located along the lymphatic ducts and organs (which are the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and thymus). In Hodgkin's lymphoma, abnormal lymphocytes grow out of control, fill the lymphatic system and may spread beyond it.
Hodgkin's lymphoma is one of two common types of cancers of the lymphatic system (the other type is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma). Most Hodgkin lymphomas are the classic type (which has 4 subtypes) or the nodular lymphocyte-predominant type (which is rarer and tends to grow slower).
Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in early adulthood (age 20–39 years) and in late adulthood (age 65 years and older). Risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma are being a male, past Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and a family history of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Determining the spread of the disease (the stage of it) affects the choice of appropriate treatment. The chances of recovery from Hodgkin lymphoma (the prognosis) depend on the stage of the disease, as well as on age, functional status, and various laboratory criteria. Hodgkin lymphoma has a high cure rate.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Hodgkin's, Lymphocytic Depletion
- Hodgkin's Paragranuloma
- Hodgkin's histiocytic lymphoma
- Extranodal Hodgkin's Granuloma
- Hodgkin's, Mixed Cellularity
- Hodgkin's Sarcoma
- Hodgkin's, Nodular Sclerosis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma usually include painless swelling of lymph nodes (located in the neck, armpits or groin), fever, drenching night sweats, unexplained weight loss and persistent fatigue. When fever, drenching night sweats, and weight loss occur together, this group of symptoms is called B symptoms. A unique and relatively rare symptom is pain in the lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.


If your doctor suspects that you have Hodgkin's lymphoma based on your medical history, a description of the various symptoms and a complete physical examination, he will ask for additional tests:
- Blood tests.
- Lymph node biopsy, in which all or part of a lymph node is removed and a viewed under a microscope to look for cancer cells. Hodgkin lymphoma cancer cells are called Reed-Sternberg cells.
- Imaging tests, such as CT, MRI or PET-CT. These tests will be performed if a Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis has been made, and their purpose is to identify the cancer location and whether it has spread.
- Bone marrow test, which will be necessary if there is a suspicion of the disease spreading to the bone marrow. In this test, a sample of bone marrow is taken using a needle inserted into the hipbone or another bone.


There are different types of treatment for patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma. The type, duration of treatment, and combination of treatments depends on the particular type of Hodgkin's lymphoma and the stage of the disease. The treatment usually consists of a combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, or treatment with only one of them. Chemotherapy is a treatment that kills quickly growing cells, a prominent feature of cancer cells. Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells accumulations. Other possible treatments include biological therapy (targeted therapy and immunotherapy), that attacks cancer cells specifically using their biological characteristics, and bone marrow transplant a treatment in which healthy marrow from a donor is transplanted and create new healthy blood cells instead of the cancerous cells.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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