What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
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.
The difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and NHL
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.