Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is a type of lymphoma, which is a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps the immune system get rid of waste and ward of infections. HD is also referred to as Hodgkin disease, Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
HD originated in white blood cells that help protect you from germs and infections. These white blood cells are referred to as lymphocytes. In people with HD, these cells grow abnormally and spread beyond the lymphatic system. As the disease starts to progress, it makes a challenge for your body to ward off infections.
HD can be either classic Hodgkin’s disease or nodular lymphocytic predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NLPHL). This type of HD is based on the types of cells involved in your condition and behavior.
The main cause of HD is currently not known. The disease has been linked to DNA mutations, or changes, as well as to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis. HD can happen at any age, but it most commonly affects people between ages 15 and 40 and people over the age 55.