Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that may start in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, blood or other organs and spread from its origin depending upon how aggressive the disease is. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in a subset of WBCs, called Lymphocytes (which are an integral part of the immune system). There are Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; and these two lymphomas differ from each other in various ways. However, the primary difference between the two is in the specific lymphocyte each involves. More about the differences between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, are discussed below.


Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Worth Knowing

Basic Differences Between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma & Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is also called as Hodgkin’s disease and it is a special type of lymphoma that involves the Reed-Sternberg cells, which are the giant cells formed by the fusion of numerous different cells and thus contain multiple nuclei. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by the orderly spread of disease from one lymph node group to another. It is usually asymptomatic and has fair prognosis, unless it becomes advanced. Hodgkin’s lymphoma tends to be confined only to one lymph node in the body and spreads through the body via the bloodstream. This form of lymphoma is more radiation-sensitive than many of the other forms of lymphoma.

However, all other types of lymphoma other than Hodgkin’s lymphoma are categorized under Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or NHL. There are numerous types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and they are quite different from each other. Unlike the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the NHL is not confined to one lymph node and can be in different lymph nodes of the body.


Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On the Occurrence of Lymphomas

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less common and it only accounts for about 1% of all cancers in The United States and has been declining in recent years.

However, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common and is the 6th most common cancer in men and 5th most common cancer in women in the U.S.


Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On The Lymphoma Symptoms

Both types of lymphomas involve painless swelling in the affected lymph nodes. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more likely to have swelling lymph nodes in the upper body, such as, in the chest, necks or under-arms. However, both, the Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can occur anywhere in the body. Weight loss, night sweats and fevers are the common symptoms in persons who are affected by both the types of lymphoma. These symptoms are generally experienced when the disease progresses to an advanced stage.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On The Risk Factors of the Lymphomas

Though, both the types of lymphomas can occur in all ages of people at any time; Hodgkin’s lymphoma most commonly occurs in people in the age group of 15 years to 40 years of age and in people who are 55 years or above; while the risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma increases with age, with most patients in their age of 60s.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On The Diagnosis of the Lymphomas

In order to have the right treatment, the exact type of lymphoma must be diagnosed. Diagnosis includes blood tests, biopsies of bone marrow, and X-rays of the chest. The definitive test includes the biopsy of the part or all of the affected lymph nodes. Hodgkin’s lymphoma involves the presences of Reed-Sternberg cell, while there are more than 30 different types of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On The Treatment of the Lymphomas

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is easier to treat, as it is focused in one lymph node. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are used to treat both types of the lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be treated by surgery or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

However, treating non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is much difficult as there are different forms of the disease and thus the prognoses too vary. Though radiation and chemotherapy, are the two different treatment options, Chemotherapy is the primary treatment option for the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, along with anti-CD20monoclonal antibodies and also hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Vs Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Differences Based On The Prognosis of both the Lymphomas

Prognosis actually depends on the exact type of the lymphocytes, the characteristics and also the location of the tumor, and the extent to which the tumor has grown. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5 year survival rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 85%, with a 10 year survival rate of 81%.

However, the prognoses of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma may vary, as there are different forms of the disease.


Though we are now aware of some of the differences between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it is always essential for you to check with your doctor for the exact diagnosis of your symptoms and condition and get the best possible treatment for the condition.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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