This cancer, sometimes called Hodgkin disease, is more rare than other forms of lymphoma.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system.
Large cancerous cells, called Reed-Sternberg cells, distinguish Hodgkin lymphoma from other types of lymphoma, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Prevalence of Hodgkin Lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma is a relatively rare form of cancer. Cases of Hodgkin lymphoma make up about 0.5 percent of all U.S. cancer cases.
In 2014, there were about 178,000 people living with Hodgkin lymphoma in the United States, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
About 9,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed in 2015.
About 1 in 500 people in the United States will be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at some point in their life.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Risk Factors
A risk factor is something that affects your chance of getting a disease.
There aren't many known risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma. Many people who develop the disease have no obvious risk factors.
Known or suspected risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma include:
- Infectious mononucleosis (also called mono): People who have been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus that causes mono, have an increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma. It's not clear how exactly EBV increases this risk, which is still very small.
- Age: A person of any age can be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, but it's most commonly seen in young adults (ages 20 to 34) and older adults (ages 55 and above).
- Sex: Hodgkin lymphoma is slightly more common in men than in women.
- Family history: If you have a brother or sister with Hodgkin lymphoma, you may have a higher risk of developing the disease.
- HIV infection: People with HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) have an increased risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma.
Hodgkin Lymphoma Survival
Survival rates for Hodgkin lymphoma have improved over the past few decades as treatments have gotten better.
Hodgkin lymphoma is now considered one of the most curable forms of cancer.
Doctors often discuss a patient's prognosis, or outlook, for different cancers by mentioning the five-year survival rate, or the percentage of patients who live at least five years after their cancer is diagnosed. (Some people live much longer.)
The five-year survival rate for Hodgkin lymphoma is about 86 percent, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The outlook is slightly better for people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at a younger age. The five-year survival rate for people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma before the age of 45 is about 94 percent.
The highest risk of death from Hodgkin lymphoma is seen in people between the ages of 75 and 84.
Certain other factors, such as the stage of the cancer (how far it has spread) at the time of diagnosis, affect a person's likelihood of survival.
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Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Hodgkin Lymphoma; National Cancer Institute.
- Facts and Statistics: Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
- What are the risk factors for Hodgkin disease? American Cancer Institute.