Hodgkin’s Disease

General Illness Information

Common Name:

Hodgkin’s disease

Medical Term: Hodgkin’s disease

Description: A malignant disease of the lymphoid tissue.

Involves lymph glands, white cells (lymphocytes) and the spleen.

May present as a localized or generalized form of cancer.

Has two age distribution patterns— One between the ages of 15 to 34 and the other after the age of 60.

Rare in children under 10.


  • Unknown;
  • Viruses may be implicated.


No specific preventive measures.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Enlarged non-tender lymph nodes, especially in the neck;
  • Unexplained Fever;
  • Night sweats;
  • Weight loss;
  • Fatigue;
  • Anorexia;
  • Unexplained itching;
  • Alcohol-induced pain.

Risk Factors

  • Immunodeficiency (inherited or acquired);
  • Autoimmune disorders;
  • HIV infection.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnostic tests may include laboratory studies of blood and bone marrow, lymphangiogram, biopsy of lymph node, CT scan of chest and abdomen, and chest X-ray.

General Measures:

  • Treatment aimed for cure with minimum toxicity, including treatment-induced late mortality;
  • Treatment can be radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or combined radiation and chemotherapy, based on stage and tumor pathology.


Note: Must be monitored by experienced oncologist:

  • ABVD chemotherapy – 4 week cycles;
  • Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) – 25 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 15;
  • Bleomycin 10 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 15;
  • Vinblastine 6.0 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 15;
  • Dacarbazine 375 mg/m2 IV days 1 and 15;
  • Repeat cycles at least 6 times if blood counts permit.


No restrictions.


No restrictions.

Possible Complications:

  • Secondary malignancies following therapy;
  • Sterility;
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Bone marrow suppression;
  • Infections, including herpes zoster;
  • Anemia;
  • Platelet failure;
  • Coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy;
  • Radiation pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis;
  • Transient radiation myelopathy.


  • Overall 5 year survival 82%;
  • 75% long term survival;
  • 10 year survival rates correlate with stage at diagnosis.

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