Missy' Story
Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a rare cancer of the lymphatic system. Hodgkin's comprises less than 1% of all cancer diagnosises each year. About 1 in 100,000 people will be diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

A person with Hodgkin's disease has abnormal cells in their lymph nodes. These cells look different. Doctors named these cells Reed-Sternberg cells. They are cancer cells which don't just look different, but act differently too. They grow faster than normal cells, sometimes destroy good cells, and can also spread to other parts of the body. Depending on the type of lymphoma and whether it is confined to a single group of lymph nodes or affects many lymph nodes, treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or, in serious cases, a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant.

Pathologists currently use the World Health Organization (WHO) modification of the Revised European-American Lymphoma (REAL) classification for the histologic classification for adult Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

WHO/REAL Classification for Adult Hodgkin's Disease

  • Classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    • Nodular sclerosis Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    • Mixed cellularity Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    • Lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
    • Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Adult Hodgkin's lymphoma may be classified as follows:

  • A: The patient has no symptoms.
  • B: The patient has symptoms such as fever, weight loss, or night sweats.
  • E: "E" stands for extranodal and means the cancer is found in an organ or tissue other than the lymph nodes or extends to tissues beyond, but near, the major lymphatic areas.
  • S: "S" stands for spleen and means the cancer is found in the spleen.