Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphoma is actually a very rare cancer statistically speaking. It only accounts for approximately 1% of all cancers in the U.S.
But it’s also one of the most curable forms of cancer we have. Depending on who’s quoting the stats, Hodgkin’s has a first-time cure rate of nearly 90%.
The first thing your oncologist needs to do after making the initial diagnosis of Hodgkin’s is to “stage” you. Generally they use a tissue biopsy, combined with MRI’s, CT Scans or PET scans to accomplish this. Here are the different stages of Hodgkin’s:Stage I. Hodgkin's disease is found in only 1 lymph node area or has extended locally into adjacent tissue.
Stage II. Hodgkin's disease is found in 2 or more lymph node areas on the same side of the diaphragm (the muscle beneath the lungs that moves up and down to help you breathe) or the cancer extends from the lymph node(s) to adjacent tissue.
Stage III. Hodgkin's disease is in lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm, or the cancer may also have extended to an area or organ adjacent to the lymph node and/or to the spleen.
Stage IV. Hodgkin's disease has spread to 1 or more organs outside the lymphatic system such as the bone marrow or liver. Progressive or Recurrent Hodgkin's Disease. Progressive disease is is what doctor’s call it when the disease progresses while you are still being treated. Recurrent disease is Hodgkin’s that has come back after it has been successfully treated. This may occur shortly after treatment or years later.