Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of lymphoma, which is a type of cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. It was named after Thomas Hodgkin, who first described abnormalities in the lymph system in 1832. Hodgkin's lymphoma is characterized by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another and by the development of systemic symptoms with advanced disease.
The disease is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells (RS cells) on microscopic examination. Hodgkin's lymphoma may be treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, the choice of treatment depending on the age and sex of the patient and the stage, bulk and histological subtype of the disease.
The disease occurrence shows two peaks: the first in young adulthood (age 15–35) and the second in those over 55 years old. The survival rate is generally 90% or higher when the disease is detected during early stages, making it one of the more curable forms of cancer. Hodgkin's lymphoma is one of the handful of cancers that, even in its later stages, has a very high cure rate, in the 90s.
Most patients who are able to be successfully treated and thus enter remission generally go on to live long lives.