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Key Information About Hodgkin's Lymphoma

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Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It was named after the English physician Thomas Hodgkin, who first described the condition in 1832.

This disease is a hematologic cancer of B-cell origin. It is marked by the presence of a type of cell known as the Reed-Sternberg cell.

"Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a relatively rare form of lymphoma. There are more than 100 different types of lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of them," said Thanos Zomas, MD, global medical lead, Lymphoma and Leukemia, and global medical lead, Adcetris Program, at Takeda Oncology.

Mixture of Cells Common in Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons



Nodular lymphocyte predominant


Around 40 percent of Hodgkin's lymphoma cases are associated with the Epstein–Barr virus.

One percent of people with this cancer have a family history of the disease. Siblings of a person with Hodgkin's lymphoma are about three to seven times more likely to develop the cancer themselves.

The risk is higher if the immune system is weak. This can happen if you have an autoimmune disease or if you are taking medicines that suppress the immune system.

Epstein–Barr Virus

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons


Drenching night sweats, swelling of limbs, swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, fatigue, weight loss, itching, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath and numbness are some symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Hodgkin tumors are frequently found in the chest. Patients may therefore present with chest pain, cough and shortness of breath. Most patients present with enlarged lymph nodes in the neck (60-80%), armpits (6-20%) and less commonly, the groin.

Fever Is a Symptom of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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Patient prognosis is largely based on the stage of the disease and various prognostic factors, which may be defined differently across various major cooperative groups. The SEER data reports an 86.2 percent overall 5-year survival rate from 2006-2012.


Medical history, physical examination and biopsy are usually used to diagnose Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Blood tests, CT-scan, PET-CT scan, MRI, lung function tests, heart evaluation and bone marrow aspiration help doctors find out the extent of the disease.


The goal of treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma is to eradicate the lymphoma cells without damaging normal cells in order to minimize treatment side effects.

Targeted therapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, stem cell transplant and chemotherapy are usually used to treat this cancer.

Radiation therapy uses beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy involves the use of medicines that kill cancer cells.

ABVD has been a standard of care for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma for many years. Hodgkin lymphoma treatment was redefined with the approval of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in August 2011.

The introduction of PET scans was a major advancement in the Hodgkin lymphoma treatment paradigm.


Infection with HIV increases the risk of this cancer, so one way to reduce the risk is to avoid known risk factors for HIV, such as intravenous drug use or unprotected se*.

Famous Survivors of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Michael C. Hall

Joey Ramone

Martin Fry

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Srikanth R

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