Lymph vessels: A network of thin tubes that collect lymph
from different parts of the body and return it to the bloodstream.
Small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight
infection and disease. Lymph nodes are located along the network of lymph vessels
found throughout the body. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarm,
Spleen: An organ
that makes lymphocytes, filters the blood, stores blood cells, and destroys
old blood cells. It is located on the left side of the abdomen near the
Thymus: An organ
in which lymphocytes grow and multiply. The thymus is in the chest behind the
Tonsils: Two small
masses of lymph tissue at the
back of the throat. The tonsils produce lymphocytes.
Anatomy of the lymph system, showing the lymph vessels and lymph organs including lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Lymph (clear fluid) and lymphocytes travel through the lymph vessels and into the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes destroy harmful substances. The lymph enters the blood through a large vein near the heart.
Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, Hodgkin
lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body and spread to almost any
tissue or organ in the body.
Lymphomas are divided into two general types: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This summary is about the treatment of adult Hodgkin lymphoma. (See the PDQ summary on Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment for more information.)
Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both adults and children; however,
treatment for adults may be different than treatment for children. Hodgkin lymphoma may also occur in patients who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); these
patients require special treatment.
the following PDQ summaries for more information:
Hodgkin lymphoma in pregnant women is the same as the disease in nonpregnant women of childbearing age. However, treatment is different for pregnant women. This summary includes information about treating Hodgkin lymphoma during pregnancy.
There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma: classical and nodular lymphocyte-predominant.
Most Hodgkin lymphomas are the classical type. The classical type is broken down into the following four subtypes:
Nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma.
Mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Age, gender, and Epstein-Barr infection can affect
the risk of developing adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn't mean that you will not get cancer. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor. Risk factors for adult
Hodgkin lymphoma include the following:
Tests that examine the lymph nodes are used to detect (find)
and diagnose adult Hodgkin lymphoma.
The following tests and procedures may be used:
Physical exam and history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Complete blood count (CBC): A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and
checked for the following:
Complete blood count (CBC). Blood is collected by inserting a needle into a vein and allowing the blood to flow into a tube. The blood sample is sent to the laboratory and the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are counted. The CBC is used to test for, diagnose, and monitor many different conditions.
The number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and
The portion of the sample made up of red blood
Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by
organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign
of disease in the organ or tissue that makes it.
Sedimentation rate: A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the rate at which the red blood cells settle to the bottom of the test tube.
The following test may be done on tissue that was removed: