The Difference Between Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Lymphomas are classified based on the type of cells involved. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are marked by mutations of B-cells or T-cells. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is marked by the presence of special type of cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell.

But there are many other differences between Non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphomas; they involve, among other things, the treatment options, survival rate, incidence, and symptoms.

Age

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma typically occurs in younger patients, age 15 to 24, and older patients over 60.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is rare in young patients. Most diagnoses are made in patients over 60 years old.

Incidence

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma accounts for less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. per year. This represents about 15% of all lymphomas.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma accounts for about 4% of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. per year. This represents around 85% of all lymphomas.

For both types of lymphomas, more men are affected than women.

Location

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma usually starts in the lymph nodes in the neck. However, it can spread to other lymph node groups, the lungs, spleen, and bone marrow, depending on the stage.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can start in a variety of locations depending on the type of cancer and cells affected.

Symptoms

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma often presents with fever and night sweats, which are Grade B symptoms.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is less likely to present with Grade B symptoms.

Progression

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma progresses in an orderly fashion between lymph groups, and is often caught before Stage IV.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas are less orderly, sometimes more aggressive, and are more likely to be caught in advanced stages.

Outcome

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is considered one of the most treatable cancers. With the discovery of new chemotherapy and radiation protocols, survival in the early years is over 90%.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has a lower survival rate in most cases, though it varies by type. Some diseases have survival rates over 80%, though some of the more aggressive and rare types have lower rates.

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