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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015

You’ve learned that you have or may

have Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s common

to feel shocked and confused. Part 1

reviews some basics about Hodgkin

lymphoma that may help you start to

cope. These basics may also help you

start planning for treatment.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is one of 13 systems of the

human body. It transports fluids to the bloodstream

and fights germs. As such, it supports your blood-

flowing (cardiovascular) and disease-fighting

(immune) systems.

Cells are the building blocks of tissue in the body. The

spaces between cells are filled with fluid. This fluid

is called tissue (or interstitial) fluid. Most tissue fluid

comes from parts of blood plasma that have passed

out of blood vessels. Cells also release waste and

other products into tissue fluid.

When tissue fluid increases, it drains into vessels.

Almost all of tissue fluid drains back into blood

vessels. The rest of it drains into lymph vessels.

Once inside of lymph vessels, tissue fluid is called

lymph. Lymph travels in lymph vessels back to the


The lymphatic system also collects fat and some

vitamins from your gut. After you eat, your stomach


Hodgkin lymphoma


6 What is the lymphatic system?

8 How does Hodgkin lymphoma start?

9 How does Hodgkin lymphoma spread?

10 Do I have Hodgkin lymphoma?

12 Review