Lymphoma - Hodgkin; Hodgkin disease; Hodgkin lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue. Lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites.
The cause of Hodgkin lymphoma is not known. Hodgkin lymphoma is most common among people 15 to 35 years old and 50 to 70 years old. Past infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is thought to contribute to some cases. People with HIV infection are at increased risk compared to the general population.
The first sign of Hodgkin lymphoma is often a painless swollen lymph node that appears without a known cause. The disease can spread to nearby lymph nodes. Later it may spread to the spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs.
Symptoms may include any of the following:
Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:
Symptoms caused by Hodgkin lymphoma may occur with other conditions. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific symptoms.
The provider will perform a physical exam and check body areas with lymph nodes to feel if they are swollen.
The disease is often diagnosed after a biopsy of suspected tissue, usually a lymph node.
The following procedures will usually be done:
If tests show that you have Hodgkin lymphoma, more tests may be done to see how far the cancer has spread. This is called staging. Staging helps guide treatment and follow-up.
Treatment depends on the following:
High-dose chemotherapy may be given when Hodgkin lymphoma returns after treatment or does not respond to the first treatment. This is followed by a stem cell transplant that uses your own stem cells.
You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences can help you not feel alone.
Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable cancers. Cure is even more likely if it is diagnosed and treated early. Unlike other cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma is also very curable in its late stages.
You will need to have regular exams for years after your treatment. This helps your provider check for signs of the cancer returning and for any long-term treatment effects.
Treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma can have complications. Long-term complications of chemotherapy or radiation therapy include:
Keep following up with a provider who knows about monitoring and preventing these complications.
Contact your provider if:
Bartlett N, Triska G. Hodgkin lymphoma. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 102.
National Cancer Institute website. Adult Hodgkin lymphoma treatment (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/lymphoma/hp/adult-hodgkin-treatment-pdq. Updated March 23, 2023. Accessed June 5, 2023.
National Cancer Institute website. Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma treatment (PDQ) - health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/lymphoma/hp/child-hodgkin-treatment-pdq. Updated March 24, 2023. Accessed June 5, 2023.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network website. NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology: Hodgkin lymphoma. Version 2.2023. www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/hodgkins.pdf. Updated November 8, 2022. Accessed May 18, 2023.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 2/2/2023
Reviewed By: Mark Levin, MD, Hematologist and Oncologist, Monsey, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update 06/05/2023.
Health Content Provider
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2023 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.