What is the Difference Between Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is an umbrella term used for over 80 related cancers. There are two general categories of the different types of lymphoma: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

The difference between Hodgkin lymphoma and NHL is the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. A Reed-Sternberg cell is a cell derived from a B-lymphocyte and is only present in Hodgkin lymphoma. If Reed-Sternberg cells are present when the tumour is examined under a microscope, the diagnosis is Hodgkin lymphoma. If there are no Reed-Sternberg cells in a lymphatic tumour, the diagnosis is most likely to be NHL. NHL is more common than Hodgkin lymphoma, outnumbering it by a ratio of over six to one. Of all diagnosed lymphoma cases, 85% of them are NHL. Distinguishing between Hodgkin lymphoma and NHL is important to show different patterns of spread and that they require different treatments.

Find out more about the different types of lymphoma: