Living with Hodgkin Disease

Hodgkin disease (also referred to as Hodgkin lymphoma) is cancer of the immune system's lymph tissue.  There are two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma: the vast majority of cases are classical Hodgkin disease, while just 5% of cases are nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin disease. Only about 9,000 new cases of Hodgkin disease are diagnosed in the United States each year, and the five-year survival rate is very high, approaching 90% in most cases.

Only 10-15% of Hodgkin disease cases are diagnosed in children; the majority of patients are between ages 15 and 40. There are no known direct causes of Hodgkin disease, but people at a higher risk include those with a family history of the disease, patents infected with HIV, and individuals who have had "mono" – mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include: fever, chills, and night sweats; loss of appetite and weight loss; and painless swelling of the lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. The stages of Hodgkin disease range from I to IV, depending on the number of lymph nodes affected and whether or not the disease has spread. The majority of patients diagnosed with Hodgkin disease are treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation.

For more information on Hodgkin disease, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.

If you have been affected by Hodgkin disease, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions.

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