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Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Louise, in remission from Hodgkin lymphoma, reading at home

Hodgkin lymphoma at a glance

There are two types of lymphoma – Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Both types develop when white blood cells become cancerous and form lumps (swollen lymph glands) in your body. In Hodgkin lymphoma, the cancerous cells are called Reed-Sternberg cells.

Children and adults of all ages can develop Hodgkin lymphoma - it’s most common in young adults and people over 75. About 2,000 people develop Hodgkin lymphoma each year in the UK.

Read more about Hodgkin lymphoma

We don’t know exactly what causes Hodgkin lymphoma. Some factors that may increase your risk are:

  • age
  • sex
  • lowered immunity
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • family history

More information on Hodgkin lymphoma

A common symptom is lumps (swollen lymph glands) around the neck or collar bone.

Find more information on the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma

You’ll need to have a number of tests and scans to confirm whether you have Hodgkin lymphoma. This will include blood tests and possibly a chest x-ray to look at your general health.

Learn more about Hodgkin lymphoma tests and diagnosis

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is usually very successful. Your healthcare team will look at a number of things when deciding which treatments to recommend.

Chemotherapy is the main form of treatment. Some people will have radiotherapy or take steroids.

More about treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma

Treatment with chemotherapy, steroids and radiotherapy can cause a range of side effects, but you're unlikely to have all of them.

Find out about possible side effects of treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma

The prognosis is generally good, especially if Hodgkin lymphoma is diagnosed early. For the majority of people, treatment leads to a cure.

Read more about the prognosis for Hodgkin lymphoma

Visit Blood Cancer Uncovered to find out how other people your age have coped with a blood cancer diagnosis.

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