Hodgkin's lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease is a form of lymphoma characterized by a progressive spread of the symptoms from one lymph node to another. It was first described by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832. For some reason, it is most common in patients between 15 and 35 and in patients over 55, but is far less common in patients between 35 and 55. Its causes are unknown and it is believed it occurs due to a number or factors (which may be different from patient to patient) such as age, low hemoglobin, sex (more likely in males), low serum albumin, infection with Epstein-Barr virus or HIV and use of human growth hormone.
Unlike many other lymphomas, Hodgkin's does not spread randomly, but appears to start in one lymph node and then spreads to the next in line. As such, it progresses slowly. Patient's are classified depending on how many lymph nodes are involved at the time of diagnosis.