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Hodgkin lymphoma

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

What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

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.

If you've just been told you have Hodgkin lymphoma

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It gives you clear and simple information, practical tips and advice from others with blood cancer, to help during the first few weeks and months after diagnosis.

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If someone you love has been diagnosed

You might find our information for family and friends helpful. It covers:

  • how to support someone with blood cancer
  • practical tips
  • coping with your own emotions
  • real stories from other friends and family members.

Hodgkin lymphoma causes

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

Read more about Hodgkin lymphoma causes.

Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms

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

Find more information on the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Hodgkin lymphoma tests for diagnosis

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.

Kayleigh, whose partner Mart has myeloma, seated in front of a mic as she guests on the Blood Cancer Heart to Heart podcast

Blood Cancer Heart to Heart podcast for family and friends

"I thought this is it. I’ve driven here as your girlfriend, and I've left as a doctor, a pharmacist, a nurse, a carer - everything all rolled into one."

Listen now

Hodgkin lymphoma in young adults

Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in young adults.

Hinna, Leanne, Jamie and Emily share what the emotional impact of blood cancer was like:

And here Leanne talks honestly about how blood cancer affects your sex life, and how timing becomes so important:

Find more videos and information for young adults, covering diagnosis, treatment, side effects, the mental impact, friends and work or study.

Hodgkin lymphoma treatment and side effects

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.

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

Find out more about Hodgkin lymphoma treatment.

We also have more information about side effects of Hodgkin lymphoma treatment.

Help shape our work

We are working on some new information about Hodgkin lymphoma. If you have been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the last five years please get in touch with Grace on [email protected] if you'd like to help shape the new information.

To make sure we reflect a diverse range of voices, we would particularly like to hear from young men diagnosed under the age of 30, people of any gender diagnosed over the age of 70, and people from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background of any age or gender.

Hodgkin lymphoma prognosis

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.

Hodgkin lymphoma research and clinical trials

Clinical trials are how we find new treatments and improve current ones. We can help you find out about clinical trials for Hodgkin lymphoma. Even if you just want to know a bit more about Hodgkin lymphoma research, try our Clinical Trials Support Service.

Our research in lymphoma has focused on improving treatments. Read about our scientific impact on lymphoma.

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