Cancer Home > Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Hodgkin's lymphoma is a form of cancer that begins in the lymph system. There are five different types. The exact cause of the disease is not known; however, risk factors include infection with Epstein-Barr virus and having a parent or sibling with Hodgkin's. Symptoms of the condition include unexplained fevers, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, and swollen lymph nodes. It is usually treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both.

What Is Hodgkin's Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymph system, which is part of the body's immune system. Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin's lymphoma (also known as Hodgkin's disease) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, Hodgkin's lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body and spread to almost any tissue or organ in the body.
This disease can occur in both adults and children; however, treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma in adults may be different from treatment for children. It may also occur in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); these people require special treatment.

What Are the Types?

There are five different types of Hodgkin's lymphoma. These types are based on the way they look under a microscope. The five types include:
  • Nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Mixed cellularity Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Risk Factors for Hodgkin's Lymphoma

At this point, Hodgkin's research scientists are not sure of the cause or causes of Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, they do know of certain factors that increase a person's chances for developing it. These risk factors in adults include:
  • Being in young or late adulthood
  • Being male
  • Being infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Having a first-degree relative (parent, brother, or sister) with the disease.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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