Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's Disease: Introduction

Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma, a general name for a group of cancers of the blood that originate in the lymph glands. The lymph glands are organs of the immune system and are a part of the body's defense against infection and disease. Lymph glands are located throughout the body.

Hodgkin's disease, also called Hodgkin lymphoma, is the result of change or mutation in infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are stored in the lymph glands. This change results in an uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, which develop into malignant tumors in the lymph glands. Hodgkin's disease can also develop in other parts of the lymphatic system, such as the spleen or bone marrow.

The cause of Hodgkin's disease is unknown. However, in some cases Hodgkin's disease develops in people who have weakened immune systems due to HIV. People at risk for developing Hodgkin's disease include those who have had mononucleosis or have been infected with the human T-cell lymphocytotropic virus (HTLV). There may also be a familial connection to developing Hodgkin's disease.

Hodgkin's disease is most common in young adults and people over 60 years of age. Overall, Hodgkin's disease is less common, but is easier to treat and cure than some more aggressive forms of lymphoma, specifically non-Hodgkin's Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's disease is highly treatable and one of the most curable types of cancer if caught in the earliest stages of the disease.

Untreated and/or advanced Hodgkin's disease results in a proliferation of abnormal white blood cells (lymphocytes) that spread throughout the lymphatic system. The abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infections as effectively as the normal white blood cells. This results in increased infections.

The abnormal white blood cells formed in Hodgkin's disease can also metastasize in other areas of the body, such as the lungs, breasts, spleen, liver, spleen and gastrointestinal system, develop into malignant tumors and interfere with normal organ functioning.

Persistently swollen lymph glands are typical of Hodgkin's disease. For more details on other key symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of Hodgkin's disease.

Diagnosing Hodgkin's disease begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms and risk factors for Hodgkin's disease, such as a history of HIV or mononucleosis. Diagnosis also includes completing a physical examination.

Diagnostic testing includes a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). A complete blood count will reveal the presence of high or low numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. A biopsy of the swollen lymph node is also performed. In a biopsy, an affected lymph node is removed and is examined under a microscope for the presence of the abnormal Hodgkin's disease cells. A bone marrow biopsy may also be done to determine if the bone marrow has been affected.

Staging of Hodgkin's disease is the process in which it is determined how advanced the disease is and how many areas of the body are affected. Imaging tests are generally used to help in staging. Imaging tests may include X-ray, CT scan, MRI, gallium scan or PET scan.

A diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease can be missed or delayed because some symptoms of Hodgkin's disease are similar to symptoms of other conditions. In addition, some people may not notice symptoms in early stages of some forms of Hodgkin's disease. For more information about other diseases, disorders and conditions that can mimic Hodgkin's disease, refer to misdiagnosis of Hodgkin's disease.

The prognosis for people with Hodgkin's disease varies depending on how advanced the disease is and other factors. Hodgkin's disease is often curable. When it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, it has an extremely high cure rate.

Treatment of Hodgkin's disease varies, depending on the stage of advancement, the patient's age, health history, overall health status, and other factors. Treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and participation in clinical trials. For more details about treatment plans, refer to treatment of Hodgkin's disease. ...more »

Hodgkin's Disease: Hodgkin's disease is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas . Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the ... more about Hodgkin's Disease.

Hodgkin's Disease: A form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Hodgkin's Disease is available below.

Hodgkin's Disease: Symptoms

Symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can vary among individuals and differ depending on the stage of advancement of the disease.

Symptoms include a swollen lymph gland or glands, (lymphadenopathy), which often appear fist in the neck, groin, or armpit. The swollen glands can also appear in other areas of the body.

Other symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can include ...more symptoms »

Hodgkin's Disease: Treatments

The best way to diagnose and treat Hodgkin's disease in its early stage when it is most treatable is to seek regular medical care throughout the lifetime. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of developing Hodgkin's disease and assess symptoms, such as a swollen lymph gland, and begin prompt diagnostic testing and ...more treatments »

Hodgkin's Disease: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease can be delayed or missed because some people may notice early symptoms and seek a prompt diagnosis. In addition, some symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can be vague and similar to symptoms of other diseases, conditions and disorders. These include influenza, upper respiratory infection, strep throat, mononucleosis, and leukemia. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Hodgkin's Disease

Treatments for Hodgkin's Disease

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Hodgkin's Disease:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease?

Hodgkin's Disease: Related Patient Stories

Hodgkin's Disease: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Hodgkin's Disease.

Diagnostic Tests for Hodgkin's Disease

Test for Hodgkin's Disease in your own home

Click for Tests

Hodgkin's Disease: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Hodgkin's Disease:

Causes of Hodgkin's Disease

Read more about causes of Hodgkin's Disease.

More information about causes of Hodgkin's Disease:

Disease Topics Related To Hodgkin's Disease

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Hodgkin's Disease:

Hodgkin's Disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Hodgkin's Disease

Mild worm infections undiagnosed in children: Human worm infestations, esp. threadworm, can be overlooked in some cases, because it may cause only mild or even more »

Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis, when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection, such as a common more »

Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called " more »

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed more »

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to more »

Spitz nevi misdiagnosed as dangerous melanoma skin cancer: One possible misdiagnosis to consider in lieu of melanoma is spitz nevi. See melanoma and more »

Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients. These patients are not more »

Hodgkin's Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Hodgkin's Disease

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Hodgkin's Disease:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Hodgkin's Disease, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Hodgkin's Disease: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Latest Treatments for Hodgkin's Disease

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Hodgkin's Disease

Medical research articles related to Hodgkin's Disease include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Hodgkin's Disease: Animations

Prognosis for Hodgkin's Disease

Research about Hodgkin's Disease

Visit our research pages for current research about Hodgkin's Disease treatments.

Clinical Trials for Hodgkin's Disease

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Hodgkin's Disease include:

Statistics for Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's Disease: Broader Related Topics

Hodgkin's Disease Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Hodgkin's Disease, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's disease 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 this country. Other cancers of the lymphatic system are called non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Hodgkin's Disease: NCI)

Definitions of Hodgkin's Disease:

A lymphoma, previously known as Hodgkin's disease, characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. There are two distinct subtypes: nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma and classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's lymphoma has a bimodal age distribution, and involves primarily lymph nodes. Current therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma has resulted in an excellent outcome and cure for the majority of patients. -- 2003 - (Source - Diseases Database)

A malignant disorder in which there is progressive (but painless) enlargement of lymph tissue followed by enlargement of the spleen and liver - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Hodgkin's Disease is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This means that Hodgkin's Disease, or a subtype of Hodgkin's Disease, affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Ophanet, a consortium of European partners, currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000. They list Hodgkin's Disease as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise