Is Hodgkin’s Or Non-Hodgkin’s More Common?

Is Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s More Common?

The Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are related to the cancer of the lymphatic system. However, there are certain underlying differences between them. The presence of Reed Sternberg cell is the characteristic feature of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lymphoma accounts for around 3% of all the malignancies. The share of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more as compared to Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the recent decade, the cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are decreasing in contrast to Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is increasing. Due to the new treatment options and advanced diagnostics, the survival rate of the patient is increasing as the 5-year survival rate for lymphoma has reached to around 80%.

Prevalence Of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

According to the cancer statistics, the estimated new cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are 8500 which accounts for approximately 0.5% of all the malignancies. The incidences of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are reducing. Further, the mortality rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma shows a declining trend. There is a strong correlation between the existence of Epstein-Barr virus and the Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thus, this type of lymphoma is more prevalent in the areas with relatively higher incidences of EPV infections.

Prevalence Of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Lymphoma is one of the common types of cancer and accounts for about 3% of all the malignancies. The incidence of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been estimated at about 5/100000 with a mortality rate of about 2.5/100000. However, the mortality rate is on a decreasing trend due to the availability of advanced treatment options. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common in men and this trend hold good almost everywhere in the world, although the ratio may vary. In India this ratio is about 1.5, 1.2 in North America while it is 1.1 in Europe. The highest prevalence among the type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is B-cell Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that accounts for a whopping 80% of all the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in India. The cause of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma such as infection and lifestyle factors also contribute in the prevalence of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Lymphoma Stages

The treatment and the prognosis of the disease are defined through the stage at which it is diagnosed. Diagnosis at the advanced stages leads to aggressive treatment therapy, poor prognosis and higher chance of relapse. If the disease is diagnosed at early stage, less treatment cycles of chemotherapy is required, less chances of relapse as the disease is completely cured prior to metastasis and the prognosis is favorable. The letter “E” is used as a suffix in cases the disease affecting the extra nodal organs. Also, “Bulky” is used as suffix when the disease is bulky while letter “B” is used to classify the disease with B symptoms which includes fever, night sweats and weight loss. Following are the stages of the disease:

Stage I: Stage I is the stage in which the lymphoma is at very initial stage and is found in only one lymph node or one lymphatic organ.

Stage II: Stage II is characterized by the presence of disease in at least two lymph nodes, all of them on the same sides of the diaphragm i.e. either above or below.

Stage III: Stage III is defined as the presence of disease in at least two lymph nodes which are present on the either side of diaphragm. It is also characterized by the presence of cancer in at least one lymphoid organ. If the spleen or portal nodes are involved, the stage is termed as Stage III-1, while involvement of Para aortic, iliac, or mesenteric nodes is termed as stage III-2.

Stage IV: If the lymphoma is spread to at least one extra nodal organ such as liver, lung, bone marrow or cerebrospinal fluid.


Lymphoma is a common malignancy which accounts for approximately 3% of all the malignancies. The survival rate for lymphoma is high and is regarded as one of those cancers having high survival rate. Although the prognosis of the disease depends upon the stage at which it is diagnosed, however, the overall 5-year survival rate is in the range 55-80% depending upon the stage. Further, year-on-year, the survival rate keeps on increasing due to advanced treatment options.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 30, 2021

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