Lymphatic system popup dialog opens lymph node clusters in the entire lymphatic system
Open the pop-up dialog
Hodgkin’s lymphoma – formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease – is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. It can affect people of all ages, but is more common in people between the ages of 20 and 40 and in people over the age of 55.
- In Hodgkin lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and can spread beyond that.
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the two most common cancers of the lymphatic system. The other type, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is much more common.
Swollen lymph nodes
Swollen lymph nodes Open popup dialog
The signs and symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma can include:
- Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin
- Persistent fatigue
- Night sweats
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Severe itching
- Increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in your lymph nodes after drinking alcohol
Doctors aren’t sure what causes Hodgkin lymphoma. But it starts when an anti-infectious cell called a lymphocyte develops a genetic mutation. The mutation tells the cell to multiply quickly, causing many diseased cells to multiply.
- The mutation causes large numbers of oversized and abnormal lymphocytes to accumulate in the lymphatic system, where they displace healthy cells and cause the signs and symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma.
- There are several types of Hodgkin lymphoma. Your diagnosis will be based on the types of cells involved in your disease and their behavior.
Factors that can increase your risk of Hodgkin lymphoma include:
- Your age. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 and 30 and over the age of 55.
- A family history of lymphoma. Having a blood relative with Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma increases the risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Be a man. Men are slightly more likely to develop Hodgkin lymphoma than women.