Last week, I wrote about the type of cancer I was diagnosed with – non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But, as you may have suspected, there’s another type of lymphoma – Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less common than non-Hodgkin’s, nearly 10,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma this year. When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is above 90%. For this reason, it’s very important to know what Hodgkin’s lymphoma is, including how it’s similar to and different from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so that if you develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma in your lifetime, you can catch it early.
Similarities Between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s
Naturally, Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a lot in common with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Particularly, both types of lymphoma affect the same system, and have similar symptoms and names. Here’s some more information on these similarities:
- The system. Both non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma impact the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system, which helps the body fight against illness.
- The symptoms. Individuals with both non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma experience similar symptoms including swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, and unexplained weight loss.
- The name. Both non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma are named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, a British pathologist who first described the symptoms common to both types of lymphoma in 1832. The condition was named Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Differences Between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s
Decades after Hodgkin’s lymphoma was first named, it was determined that the condition could actually be divided into two distinct conditions. The new condition would be named non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Here are some key differences between the two conditions:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma is designated by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be differentiated under a microscope. If a specific type of large, abnormal cell called Reed-Sternberg cells are present in the lymph fluid, it is Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less common than non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s is the 7thmost common cancer in the U.S., with over 70,000 diagnoses a year. Hodgkin’s, on the other hand, only makes up about 10,000 new cancer diagnoses each year.
- The median age of people diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma is lower than that of non-Hodgkin’s. While non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma primarily affects people over 60, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is common in both younger and older individuals. Specifically, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is common in people aged 15-24 years, as well as in people over 60 years of age.
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma typically originates in the upper body. While non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma commonly arises in lymph nodes all over the body, Hodgkin’s lymphoma typically starts in the neck, chest, or armpits.