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Staging Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma has four different stages as classified by the Modified Ann Arbor Staging System:

  • Stage I. Single lymph node region or organ involved with disease.
  • Stage II. Two or more lymph node regions involved on the same side of the diaphragm (the muscle that controls breathing and that separates the chest from the abdomen).
  • Stage III. Lymph node regions involved on both sides of the diaphragm.
  • Stage IV. Significant involvement of an organ that is not considered part of the lymphatic system (like the lung or liver) or any organ involvement along with lymph node involvement.
  • Additional designations:
    • "B": Unexplained fevers, chills, drenching night sweats, weight loss or fatigue
    • "E": Non-lymph node disease that fits into a single area of radiation therapy
    • "X": Bulky (large) mass, frequently in the mediastinum (chest)

Typically, stage I or II Hodgkin lymphoma is considered "early" stage and stage III or IV is considered "advanced" stage.

Within early stage, patients with low-risk features are considered "favorable" and patients not meeting criteria for low-risk disease are considered "unfavorable".