Hodgkin Lymphoma


This is a cancer of the lymphatic system. This system clears infections and manages fluids in your body. It is an important part of your immune system.

Hodgkin vs. Non-Hodgkin

There are two types of lymphatic system cancers. They are known as "lymphomas." One is Hodgkin lymphoma. The other is called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The two cancers look different under the microscope. They behave differently in your body. Hodgkin lymphoma is more uncommon than non-Hodgkin. But, it also responds better to treatment.


Doctors aren't sure what causes Hodgkin lymphoma. It begins in lymphocytes. These are white blood cells that travel through your lymphatic system. After a specific type of lymphocyte (called a B cell) mutates, it divides rapidly. It creates abnormal cells. They grow and spread through your lymph nodes.


Symptoms can include a painless swelling of the lymph nodes. You may notice swelling in the neck, armpits or groin. These lumps may hurt after you drink alcohol. You may have constant fatigue. You can have fever, chills and night sweats. You may have a loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss. Your skin may feel itchy. And some patients experience coughing, difficulty breathing or pain behind the breast bone.


Treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer. Options may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a stem cell transplant. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.