Get details about our clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients.View Clinical Trials
More than 9,000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States each year. It occurs mainly in individuals between 16 and 34 years of age and those over age 55.
Almost all Hodgkin lymphoma cases contain Reed-Sternberg cells, a specific type of large cancer cell that is not present in non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Treatment for patients with Hodgkin lymphoma, even in advanced stages, is mostly successful. However, treatment may cause late side effects, and sometimes the disease returns.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Types
Hodgkin lymphoma is divided into two major types according to how the lymph cells look under a microscope and whether Reed-Sternberg cells are present. Knowing the type you have helps doctors determine the best Hodgkin lymphoma treatment.
Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma is the most common type in the United States. It accounts for about 95% of cases and is the most curable Hodgkin lymphoma. Subtypes include:
- Nodular Sclerosing Hodgkin Lymphoma: The affected lymph nodes have mixed areas of normal cells, Reed-Sternberg cells and prominent scar tissue. This is the most common type, making up 60% to 80% of cases. It is more common in adolescents and young adults, but it can occur at any age.
- Lymphocyte-Rich Hodgkin Lymphoma: This recently created subtype in the past was confused sometimes with lymphocyte-predominant lymphoma. It is similar to mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin Lymphoma: The affected lymph nodes contain many Reed-Sternberg cells in addition to several other cell types. Mixed cellularity accounts for about 25% to 30% of cases of Hodgkin lymphoma. It primarily affects older adults.
- Lymphocyte Depletion Hodgkin Lymphoma: Large numbers of Reed-Sternberg cells, but very few other cell types, are found in the lymph nodes. This is the least common form of Hodgkin lymphoma, and it is seen more often in people who are elderly or have AIDS.
Nodular Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma: This rare disease accounts for just 5% of Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses and is most common among men between 35 and 40. Unlike other types of Hodgkin lymphoma, it produces no Reed-Sternberg cells. It is usually diagnosed at an early stage and has an excellent survival rate.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk Factors
Anything that increases your chance of getting Hodgkin lymphoma is a risk factor. Although Hodgkin lymphoma usually develops in people who have no risk factors, the following things may mean you are more likely to develop it:
- Age: Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in young adults (15 to 40 years) and older adults (over 55 years old).
- Gender: Males are slightly more likely to develop Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Viruses: The risk is small, but some viruses may make you more likely to get Hodgkin lymphoma. These include:
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- Infectious mononucleosis (mono)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Human T-cell lymphocytotropic virus (HTLV)
- Family history: If you have a parent, brother or sister with Hodgkin lymphoma, you have an increased risk of developing the disease.
Not everyone with risk factors gets Hodgkin lymphoma. However, if you have risk factors, you should discuss them with your doctor.
Learn more about Hodgkin lymphoma:
Why choose MD Anderson for your Hodgkin lymphoma treatment?
Our team of experts is one of the few focused only on lymphoma. While most oncologists see only one or two Hodgkin lymphoma patients a year, we treat hundreds annually, giving us a remarkable depth of experience and expertise.
At MD Anderson, you are cared for by a team of some of the nation's top authorities on lymphoma. They draw upon the latest and
Innovative, Advanced Options
As one of the world's leaders in lymphoma advances, we constantly work to pioneer new treatments that are effective and have the least impact on your body. For instance, MD Anderson has helped advance the development of several new targeted therapies for Hodgkin lymphoma. And we are studying several biomarkers to guide the future development of even more personalized therapies.
Whether you recently have been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma or have battled the disease for years, we can help.
Become an expert on your disease. Be able to verbalize it to your providers and don't take "no" for an answer when they tell you nothing's wrong. Keep going until you find someone who will listen.
B-Cell Lymphoma Moon Shot
MD Anderson’s B-Cell Lymphoma Moon Shot® aims to rapidly and dramatically improve treatment outcomes for Hodgkin lymphoma patients through powerful new treatment approaches and research.Learn more about the B-Cell Lymphoma Moon Shot
MD Anderson patients have access to clinical trials offering
promising new treatments that cannot be
found anywhere else.
Talk to someone who shares your cancer diagnosis and be matched with
Prevention & Screening
Many cancers can be prevented with lifestyle changes and regular
Due to our response to COVID-19, all blood donations at MD Anderson
Blood Donor Center locations are being held by appointment only.