Hodgkin's disease is the name for a group of cancers that start in the lymph nodes and then spread to surrounding areas of the body. Lymph nodes are small organs found at various sites in the body, such as under the armpits, in the groin, back of the abdomen, and in the neck.
These nodes help fight infection by filtering out bacteria and other harmful substances. Many people notice slightly swollen nodes in the neck when they have a cold or the flu; however, these swellings are usually temporary and disappear within a week or two.
Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. Lymphomas are the third most common type of cancer in children. Hodgkin's disease usually occurs in 2 age groups: people between the ages of 15 and 40, and people over the age of 55.