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Hodgkin's Disease


Hodgkin's Disease (Discharge Care) Care Guide

  • Hodgkin disease is cancer in your lymph nodes and lymphatic system. Your lymph nodes make white blood cells to fight infection. The lymphatic system acts like a filter to catch germs and get rid of waste from your body. With cancer, your cells grow out of control and form too much tissue called a tumor. Your chances of having Hodgkin disease increase if a close relative has had the disease. An infection called the Epstein-Barr virus also increases your risk. Common symptoms of Hodgkin disease include weight loss, sweating during the night, and a fever (high temperature). You may also find a lump on your neck or underarm area.

  • Treatment for Hodgkin disease is usually a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, although they are sometimes used alone. Chemotherapy is medicine that kills tumors. Radiation kills cancer and keeps the cancer from spreading. You might also need a stem cell transplant which will help you fight infection. The type and stage of your Hodgkin disease may help your caregiver decide what treatment is best for you. The stages of Hodgkin disease include early stage favorable, early stage unfavorable, and advanced stage. With treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, your Hodgkin disease may go away for good. You may also feel better and live longer.



  • Vaccine: A vaccine is a shot given to prevent certain medical conditions. You may need to get vaccinated against the flu, pneumonia, or meningitis. Ask your caregiver for more information about these conditions and vaccines.

  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

Follow-up visit information:

You will need blood and imaging tests to check if your cancer was completely removed or has returned. You may need follow up x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to see if your cancer has spread. Women may need tests to check for breast cancer. Tests may also be done to check how your thyroid gland and heart are working. You may need to see your dentist more frequently than usual. Your caregiver will tell you when to come back and how often you need tests done. Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit.

Wellness tips:

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods: This may help you have more energy and heal faster. Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.

  • Drink liquids as directed: Adults should drink between 9 and 13 eight-ounce cups of liquid every day. Ask what amount is best for you. For most people, good liquids to drink are water, juice, and milk.

  • Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your caregiver about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.

  • Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. You are more likely to have heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and other health problems if you smoke. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.

  • Manage stress: Stress may slow healing and cause illness. Learn new ways to relax, such as deep breathing.

For support and more information:

Having Hodgkin disease may be a life-changing condition for you and your family. You and those close to you may feel scared, angry, or sad. These feelings are normal. Talk to your caregivers, family, or friends about your feelings. You may also want to join a support group with other people who have Hodgkin disease. Contact any of the following:

  • American Cancer Society
    250 Williams Street
    Atlanta , GA 30303
    Phone: 1- 800 - 227-2345
    Web Address:
  • National Cancer Institute
    6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 300
    Bethesda , MD 20892-8322
    Phone: 1- 800 - 422-6237
    Web Address:
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Inc.
    1311 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains , NY 10605
    Phone: 1- 914 - 949-5213
    Phone: 1- 800 - 955-4572
    Web Address:


  • You feel a new lump.

  • You have a fever (high temperature).

  • You sweat a lot during the night.

  • You lose weight without trying.

  • Your skin is itchy or has a rash.

  • Your bones or muscles hurt.

  • You are more tired than usual.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.


  • You have chest pain.

  • You have trouble breathing.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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