Hodgkin Disease Facts

Hodgkin's disease is a cancer of the lymph nodes. Hodgkin disease causes the cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually making the body less able to fight infection. Learn more about Hodgkin disease ›

Symptoms of Hodgkin Disease

Swollen lymph nodes are enlarged lymph nodes, which are very small clusters of immune cells that function as part of the body’s immune system. There are more than 600 lymph nodes throughout the body, but the ones most frequently enlarged or swollen are found in the neck, under the chin, in the armpits, and in the groin.

Swollen lymph nodes are also known as lymphadenitis, lymphadenopathy, swollen nodes, or swollen glands. They can occur in any age group or population, but generally occur most often in children.

Your body relies on the lymphatic system to fight off germs, infections, and abnormal substances such as cancer cells. Lymph nodes are an important part of your body’s immune system. Swollen lymph nodes can result from infection, malignancy and autoimmune disorders.

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Treatment for Hodgkin Disease

Hodgkin's disease treatments are either local or systemic. Local treatments remove, destroy, or control the cancer cells in a certain area of your body. Radiation therapy is a local treatment. Systemic treatments are used to destroy or control cancer cells throughout your entire body. Chemotherapy and stem cell transplant are systemic treatments.

Each type of treatment for Hodgkin's disease has a different goal. Here is a list of main treatments and their goals. You may have only one treatment or a combination of treatments.

  • Chemotherapy. This treatment uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy, used alone or with radiation, is the most common treatment for Hodgkin's disease. Most people take a combination of drugs through intravenous infusions and pills.

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Living with Hodgkin Disease

Scientists and medical professionals are working hard to better understand who will get Hodgkin disease, and why. For now, there is no way to tell if you will get Hodgkin disease before it happens. Many cancers have been linked to defective genes, chemical exposure, or dietary habits. Hodgkin disease has not.

The best way you can protect yourself from Hodgkin disease is to be aware of what makes you more likely to get it. These are called your risk factors. Knowing what puts you at risk for Hodgkin disease can help you make healthy choices that may help you avoid it.

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