Hodgkin's disease, also referred to as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps protect the body against infection and disease. It consists of a network of lymph vessels and small structures that are called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are located throughout the body.
Hodgkin’s disease is a specific form of lymphoma. Lymphoma occurs when lymph cells divide without control or order. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably, a mass of tissue forms called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.
The cause of Hodgkin's lymphoma remains unknown. Hodgkin’s disease usually starts in lymph nodes or lymphatic tissue and from there has the potential to spread throughout the body.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most curable types of cancer. People with localized Hodgkin’s are cured more than 90% of the time. About 8,220 Americans were diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 2008.
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