Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Lymphoma (Hodgkin’s adult)

What is Hodgkin’s disease?

Hodgkin’s disease is a type of lymphoma, a cancer in the lymphatic system. About 10 percent to 15 percent of cases of Hodgkin’s disease are found in children 16 years old and younger.

Hodgkin’s disease causes the cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually making the body less able to fight infection. Hodgkin’s disease cells also can spread to other organs.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. Its function is to fight disease and infections.

The lymphatic system includes:

  • Lymph – fluid in which the lymphocyte cells are suspended.
  • Lymph vessels – thin tubes that carry lymph fluid throughout the body. 
  • Lymphocytes – cells that fight infection and disease. 
  • Lymph nodes – bean-shaped organs, found in the underarm, groin, neck and abdomen, that act as filters for the lymph fluid as it passes through them.