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Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system|. It is sometimes called Hodgkin’s disease.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)| and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)|. Only about 1 in 5 of all lymphomas diagnosed (20%) are Hodgkin lymphoma. Just over 1,600 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.
It’s only possible to tell the difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma when the cells are looked at under a microscope.
In most cases of Hodgkin lymphoma, a particular cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell is found when cells from the lymph node are examined during diagnosis|. This cell isn’t usually found in other types of lymphoma, so these types are called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
This difference is important, because the treatment for Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be very different. It’s thought that Reed-Sternberg cells are a type of white blood cell - a B-cell that has become cancerous. B-cells normally make antibodies to fight infection.
We have a separate section about non-Hodgkin lymphoma|.
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2011
Next planned review: 2013
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