Cancer Home > Hodgkin's Disease
Hodgkin's disease is a type of cancer that attacks the cells of the immune system. There are five different types of Hodgkin's that are categorized based on how the cancer cells look under a microscope. Possible symptoms include fever, weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. Treatment for this disease most often involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both.
Hodgkin's disease (also known as Hodgkin's lymphoma) is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin's disease, an uncommon lymphoma, accounts for less than 1 percent of all cases of cancer in the United States. Other cancers of the lymphatic system are called non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, Hodgkin's disease can begin in almost any part of the body and spread to almost any tissue or organ in the body. The disease can occur in both adults and children; however, treatment for in adults may be different from treatment for children.
Hodgkin's disease may also occur in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); these people require special treatment.
The lymphatic system is part of the body's immune system. The immune system fights infections and other diseases.
In the lymphatic system, a network of lymph vessels carries clear fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to small, round organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are filled with lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). The lymph nodes trap and remove bacteria or other harmful substances that may be in the lymph. Groups of lymph nodes are found in the neck, underarms, chest, abdomen (stomach), and groin.
Other parts of the lymphatic system include the tonsils, spleen, and thymus. Lymphatic tissue is also found in other parts of the body, including the stomach, skin, and small intestine.