What Is the Difference Between Hodgkin Versus Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?


Quick Answer

Hodgkin's lymphoma is diagnosed when the presence of a specific type of abnormal cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell is detected under a microscope. If the Reed-Sternberg cell is not present, the cancer is diagnosed as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as stated by Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can be further classified into subtypes based on the cell of origin, either B-cell or T-cell, and the cell characteristics, according to WebMD. The subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma dictates treatment protocol and the prognosis.

Hodgkin's lymphoma typically occurs in individuals between 15 to 24 and also in those over 60 years of age says LymphomaInfo.net. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs most commonly in individuals over 60 years of age. Hodgkin's lymphoma accounts for 15 percent of all lymphoma cancers. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common, accounting for 85 percent of all lymphomas.

Both Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are cancers that begin in the white blood cells called lymphocytes, according to Mayo Clinic. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that fight infection caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses. Hodgkin's lymphoma usually starts in the lymph nodes of the neck and can spread to other lymph node groups. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can start in many areas of the body depending on the type of cancer and the cells affected.

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