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The main difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is that the cancer affects different white blood cells.
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.
No one is sure what causes Hodgkin lymphoma, but you’re more likely to be affected if:
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.
Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and give you a thorough physical examination. Tests may also include:
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.
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.