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Hodgkin's lymphoma

Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment at GenesisCare

The main difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is that the cancer affects different white blood cells.

Chapter 01

What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin (or Hodgkin’s) lymphoma is a rare type of cancer that when B-lymphocytes – white blood cells that fight infection – increase abnormally. They gather in the lymphatic system, including the glands (lymph nodes). They stop the lymphocytes being able to fight infection.

Most people with Hodgkin lymphoma are male. It’s more common if you’re aged 20-24 or over 70.

Causes of Hodgkin lymphoma

No one is sure what causes Hodgkin lymphoma, but you’re more likely to be affected if:

  • A close relative has had Hodgkin lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma or chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
  • You already have a disease that has weakened your immune system
  • You take medicine to suppress your immune system
  • You’ve had the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes glandular fever)
Chapter 02


  • A lump in your neck, groin or armpit. This may ache or be painless
  • An itchy rash all over your body
  • Breathlessness and a cough that doesn’t go away
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Having lots of infections
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss

Having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean you have cancer but it’s best to ask your doctor for advice. The sooner your cancer is detected, the better the chances of treating it successfully.

Chapter 03

Tests and diagnosis

Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and give you a thorough physical examination. Tests may also include:

  • A biopsy – when a tiny sample of tissue is taken from the lymph node or bone marrow for analysis
  • Blood tests
  • X-ray
  • Scans including CT and MRI
Chapter 04

Treatments we offer

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells. It’s used in the early stages of cancer treatment or after it has started to spread. It can also be used to relieve pain and discomfort from cancer that has spread.

There are many ways to have radiation therapy but they all work in a similar way. Carefully controlled high-energy X-rays destroy or damage cancer cells. This stops them growing or spreading.


Chemotherapy is medication that treats your cancer. The drugs kill cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and spreading further.

Chapter 05

Helpful resources

We understand that you may still have some unanswered questions, and we’re here to help you in any way we can. But if you are still seeking answers visit Targeting Cancer for further information about this condition or contact a staff member from a centre near you.

Any procedure including treatments involving radiation carry risks, including skin irritation and associated pain. Before proceeding with a referral for treatment, patients should be advised to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. As in any medical procedure, patient experiences and outcomes will vary.