What is Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare cancer known in the past as Hodgkin’s Disease that accounts for less than 1% of all cancer cases in the United States. Hodgkin lymphoma develops from B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that normally produces proteins called antibodies that fight infection. Lymphocytes can be found in lymphoid tissue, which can be found throughout the body, in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and digestive tract. Hodgkin lymphoma usually first starts in lymph nodes in the chest, neck, or underarms. However, Hodgkin lymphoma can also develop in other lymph nodes or lymphoid tissue in other parts of the body. It can also spread through the lymph system or bloodstream to other organs and parts of the body. The cancerous lymphocytes of Hodgkin lymphoma are called Reed-Sternberg cells, which look and behave differently than do normal lymphocytes and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cells. There are two primary categories of Hodgkin lymphoma: classical and lymphocyte-predominant.