Health

Difference between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Basically we can say that lymphomas are a set of malignant diseases that affect the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes. These three systems are connected by the immune system, therefore, a lymphoma involving one will affect the other two. Thus, there are various types of lymphomas, but according to their cellular origin, lymphomas are subdivided into two large groups: Hodgkin’s lymphomas and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. That said, in this article, we will highlight the differences that exist between them, starting from their definitions.

Hodgkin lymphoma

By definition, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the lymphatic system, in the part of the body’s immune system called lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that help fight infection in the body. It should be noted that Hodgkin lymphoma is named after the British doctor Thomas Hodgkin who discovered it in 1839.

Thus, this lymphoma represents a malignant tumoral proliferation of the lymph nodes that rarely presents extranodal involvement and is preferably located in a single type of axial lymph nodes (cervical, mediastinal and para-aortic). In addition, Hodgkin lymphoma spreads by contiguity in a predicted order, that is, from one nodal group to another depending on the arrangement of the lymphatic circulation.

Additionally, Hodgkin’s disease is more common in people between 16 and 35 years of age, where it is generally intermediate to high grade, that is, rapidly growing lymphomas with an aggressive pattern that require immediate and intensive treatment. Finally, the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma varies according to the type of lymphoma and the stage of the disease, and can range from chemotherapy and radiotherapy to stem cell transplantation.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is another type of cancer that develops in the cells of the lymphatic system in the lymphocytes or also called white blood cells that help fight infections in the body. Thus, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is five times more frequent than Hodgkin’s disease and can be indolent or aggressive and are also called low-grade and high-grade.

In this sense, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually affects many peripheral lymph nodes and does not spread by contiguity, that is, it spreads in an unpredictable way. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, extranodal involvement is common. It should be noted that non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common in people over 60 years of age but can predominate in middle-aged men (between 20 and 40 years of age).

Finally, the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma varies according to the type of lymphoma and the stage of the disease, and can range from chemotherapy and radiotherapy to stem cell transplantation and bone marrow transplantation.

As can be seen, the differences between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma arise according to the type of lymphocytes involved. In this sense, we find that:

Hodgkin lymphoma Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
It is located in a single group of axial nodes (cervical, mediastinal and para-aortic). It is located in different peripheral ganglia.
It spreads by contiguity, following a planned order. It spreads unpredictably.
It rarely presents extranodal involvement. Extranodal involvement is common.
There are four subtypes of Hodgkin lymphoma. There are thirty subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It is most common in people between 16 and 35 years of age. It is more common in people over 60 years of age but can predominate in men between 20 and 40 years of age.

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