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Hodgkins disease, also referred to as Hodgkins lymphoma, is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps protect the body against infection and disease. It is a network of lymph vessels and small structures that are called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body.

The Lymphatic Organs

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Hodgkins disease is a specific form of lymphoma that involves T-cells. Lymphoma occurs when lymph cells divide without control or order. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.

The cause of Hodgkins lymphoma remains unknown. Hodgkins disease usually starts in lymph nodes or lymphatic tissue and has the potential to spread throughout the body.

Hodgkins lymphoma is one of the most curable types of cancer.

References:

Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/hodgkin. Accessed April 5, 2013.

Hodgkin lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.lls.org/#/diseaseinformation/lymphoma/hodgkinlymphoma/. Accessed April 5, 2013.

Last reviewed April 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.