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Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is also called Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease. It is a cancer of your white blood cells — the blood cells that play a key role in your immune system.

Hodgkin lymphoma is rare, but most cases are highly curable.

Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever that does not go away
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe or constant itching

Just because you have these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have Hodgkin lymphoma. Other conditions can cause similar problems, so make sure to see a doctor.

How can I get help for Hodgkin lymphoma?

  • If you have Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms, see your primary care doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and order blood tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. Infections can often cause swollen lymph nodes.
  • When other causes are ruled out, your doctor will ask you to undergo a lymph node biopsy. This procedure will determine if you have Hodgkin lymphoma and, if so, what type it is.

Care for adults with Hodgkin lymphoma at Rush

Several treatments are available for adult patients:

  • Chemotherapy: You will receive a combination of chemotherapy drugs to treat your cancer. Combination chemotherapy allows you to take lower doses of each drug, minimizing side effects.
  • Radiation therapy : You may also receive radiation therapy, which uses high-energy X-rays to treat your cancer.
  • Stem cell transplant : Immature blood cells called stem cells can be transplanted into your body to replenish your blood. A stem cell transplant allows you to receive higher doses of chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat your cancer.
  • Monoclonal antibodies: These are made in a laboratory to target specific cancer cells. A clinical trial may offer access to this therapy.

Care for children with Hodgkin lymphoma at Rush

Hodgkin lymphoma treatment for children differs from adult treatment:

  • Different chemotherapy drugs may be used.
  • If your child is not fully grown, chemotherapy is often favored over radiation therapy, because radiation therapy may affect bone or muscle growth.

Your child will need close medical monitoring even after treatment to see if side effects develop.

Why choose Rush for Hodgkin lymphoma care

  • Specialists at Rush are testing new Hodgkin lymphoma treatments for adults. These clinical trials offer you treatment options not always available elsewhere.
  • For children with cancer, Rush collaborates with the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Oncology Group to evaluate different treatments. These studies seek to find the most effective treatment combinations causing the fewest side effects.
  • The Comprehensive Lymphoma Center has many doctors specializing in lymphoma treatment. These doctors work together to make sure you receive an accurate diagnosis, comprehensive treatment and follow-up care.

Departments and programs that treat this condition