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Hodgkin's Disease

​​​​​​Hodgkin's Lymphoma, or Hodgkin's Disease (HD) is one type of a group of cancers called lymphomas.

​​Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system, a part of the body that helps you fight disease and infection. 

Marshfield Clinic's team of specialists is trained to diagnose and treat Hodgkin's disease, ensuring that patients will have the best chance to beat the disease.


Marshfield Clinic's team of specialists will work with you to determine the best possible treatments based on the type and extent of Hodgkin's disease. Specific options Marshfield specialists may recommend include:


Surgery is generally not an effective treatment for Hodgkin's disease and is used only to obtain a biopsy to determine an accurate diagnosis.


Chemotherapy​ is the most common treatment for HD. Chemotherapy drugs interfere with the growth of cancer cells, eventually causing the cells to die. 

Chemotherapy treatment is used to shrink the tumor, keep the tumor from spreading, and kill cancer cells that have spread to other areas of the body or relieve symptoms related to cancer.

Radiation Therapy

It is common for radiation therapy​ to be used in combination with chemotherapy for HD. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. 

A team of trained Cancer Specialists determines if this type of treatment is right for your cancer. Marshfield Clinic uses external-beam radiation for Hodgkin's lymphoma therapy.  

External-beam radiation is a method for delivering radiation from a machine outside the body.

Stem Cell Transplantation

In certain circumstances, use of higher doses of chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used to treat Hodgkin's disease. 

Because radiation therapy and chemotherapy destroy stem cells when they eradicate cancer cells, stem cell transplantation is used to rebuild a patient's supply of those developing cells. 

In stem cell transplantation, before a patient begins radiation or chemotherapy doctors give the patient a medication to increase the number of stem cells in the blood, a process called apheresis. 

After the stem cells are removed, the blood is returned to the body.

Autologous stem cell transplants are performed when high doses of chemotherapy are used to treat cancer. 

The chemo drugs can destroy the patient's bone marrow, so some stem cells are taken from the blood stream (apheresis) prior to treatment. 

The stem cells are frozen and the patient is given high-dose chemotherapy (with or without radiation) to treat the cancer. 

The stem cells are then thawed and given back through a catheter to replace what was destroyed. 

​Autologous stem cell transplant is most commonly used in Hodgkin's disease for patients who have experienced a relapse of their disease.​​


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