Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Disease (HD) is one of the two main types of cancer of the lymphatic system, the other being Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. There are multiple sub-types for both. Go to our Lymphoma page for an overview.

The primary difference between Hodgkin’s disease and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the presence of a specific abnormal cell name Reed-Sternberg cells.

Did You Know…

Cancer behaves differently in children than in adults. More information on Childhood Hodgkin’s Disease

Risk Factors of Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma

There are few known risk factors for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Unlike many other cancers, there does not seem to be a genetic, lifestyle, or environmental link to developing this disease. Researchers have identified the following possible risk factors:

  • Mononucleosis. People who have had mononucleosis (or “mono”) seem to have a higher risk of developing this disease
  • Weakened immune system. People who have a weakened immune system, either through diseased (such as AIDS patients) or organ transplant patients, also seem to have a higher risk of developing this disease (click here for more information on AIDS-Related Lymphoma)

Common Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma

  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm or groin
  • Persistent fever, sometimes coming and going over several days or weeks
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss without dieting
  • Itchy Skin
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

These symptoms may indicate Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or another, far less serious condition. Please see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, particularly if they persist for several weeks.

Diagnosing Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma

If symptoms are present, your doctor will perform a complete physical exam, paying special attention to any swelling in the lymph nodes. Your doctor will also focus on your medical history to rule out the possibility of any infection. If cancer is suspected, the only way to diagnose Hodgkin’s disease is by performing a biopsy. This test will also help determine the stage of the disease.

Treatment Options for Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma

If you’ve been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, know that at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, you are in good hands. Our lymphoma program provides a wide variety of treatment approaches for patients with Hodgkin’s Disease and other lymphatic diseases.

Information About…Our Services
Radiation TherapyRadiation Oncology
ChemotherapyHematology Oncology

Additional Resources


Find out about our clinical trials for:

Hodgkin’s Disease (Adult)

Hodgkin’s Disease (Childhood)

National cancer clinical trials

Our Specialists

Richard I. Fisher, M.D.

Steven H. Bernstein, M.D.

Jonathan Friedberg, M.D.

Fay Young, M.D.

Radiation Oncologist

Louis “Sandy” Constine, M.D.


Our researchers who are doing research related to lymphoma

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