Hodgkin disease is a type of cancer called a lymphoma. It occurs when certain types of white blood cells called lymphocytes grow in an uncontrolled way. Lymphocytes are part of the immune system that help our bodies fight infection.
Hodgkin disease can start anywhere in the lymphatic system, which is the network of vessels, tissues and organs that make white blood cells, and move lymph around the body. It commonly starts in the lymph nodes in the upper body, such as in the chest, neck or underarms. It can spread to other lymph nodes and throughout the lymphatic system.
There are two main types of Hodgkin disease:
- classic Hodgkin disease
- nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin disease.
Hodgkin disease is more common in older children and teenagers than in young children.
A different type of lymphoma that occurs in children is called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.