Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the body’s immune system and helps to fight infections and diseases. HL is characterized by the presence of abnormal cells called Reed-Sternberg cells, which are found in the lymph nodes.
HL usually begins in the lymph nodes in one part of the body and may then spread to other lymph nodes or organs. The most common sites of spread are the spleen, liver, bone marrow, and lungs. The symptoms of HL include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
There are two main types of HL: classical HL and nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL. Classical HL is further divided into four subtypes: nodular sclerosis, mixed cellularity, lymphocyte-rich, and lymphocyte-depleted. The treatment for HL depends on the stage and subtype of the disease, but may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation.
HL is considered one of the most curable types of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 85%. However, some people may experience long-term side effects of treatment, such as infertility, heart or lung problems, or a second cancer.