Logo 24G
0 0,00

Is Hodgkin’s lymphoma genetic?

Lymphatic cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is part of them and affects the lymphatic system, which is responsible for transporting fluids and immune system cells throughout the body and fighting infections and other diseases.

Although it’s unknown precisely what causes this disease, studies suggest that genetic inheritance may play an essential role in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you want to learn more about this disease, its symptoms, causes, how it is diagnosed, and the relationship of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to genetics, keep reading.


What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Hodgkin’s disease, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is one of the many types of cancer that begin in the lymphatic system. It happens when lymphocytes, commonly known as white blood cells (although white blood cells encompass other cell types such as neutrophils and basophils), begin to grow uncontrollably, causing inflammation of the lymph nodes. 

This disease affects people of any age, although it’s more frequent in two specific groups: those aged 20 to 39 years and those over 65 years [1]. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most curable cancers there is, although the success of its treatment depends on different factors such as gender, type of lymphoma, stage and age at diagnosis [2].

The statistical data for this type of cancer are encouraging. The survival rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been on the rise since 1975, mainly due to treatment improvements. Between 2010 and 2019, its mortality decreased by 4.5% per year [3].

hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms - itching

What are the symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

The most commonly referred symptoms in people with Hodgkin’s disease include the following:

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin.
  •  Persistent fatigue.
  • Fever for no apparent reason.
  • Excessive night sweats.
  • Weight loss for no known reason.
  • Intense itching of the skin, especially after showering or drinking alcohol.
  • Pain in the lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.


Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Several tests are usually performed to diagnose Hodgkin’s disease, some of them are as follows:

  • Physical and medical history examination: intended to determine symptoms and identify swollen nodes.
  • Biopsy: a lymph node or part of it is removed and analyzed in the laboratory to confirm if cancer is present and what type it is.
  • Laboratory tests, including a complete blood count.
  • Imaging studies: the inside of the body is viewed using x-rays, sound waves, magnetic fields, or radioactive particles.

Causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

There are some known risk factors for developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but this does not imply that people who have them will grow the disease, nor that those who lack them may not develop it at some point.

Among the known causes of Hodgkin’s disease are:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection causes infectious mononucleosis and has been contracted by most of the population at some point in their childhood or adolescence. The associated risk is minimal (1 in 1000) [4].
  • Age: more common in young adults (20-39 years) and persons older than 65.
  • Sex: the risk is slightly higher in men than in women.
  • Weakened immune system: people with HIV, autoimmune diseases, or who take immune-suppressing drugs after organ transplantation are likelier to develop the disease.
  • Family history: Siblings of young people diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are at increased risk for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the risk is even significantly increased in identical twins.


How does Hodgkin’s lymphoma relate to genetics?

A study conducted by researchers at St. Jude Hospital in the United States, and published in the journal Blood, yields results that highlight the critical role of genetic predisposition in understanding Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The authors concluded that inherited genetic variants predispose people to develop this hematological malignancy in most families with diagnosed cases [5].

If you want to know your genetic predisposition to Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you can do so by taking a genetic health test. At 24Genetics, we generate a detailed report on your probability of suffering from this and other types of cancer.

In addition, you will know which other diseases you are genetically predisposed to, and you will find out, among many other things, which drugs your body would react best to in case you should be prescribed them at some point. So purchase the test on our website and find out what your genes say about you.



[1] MedlinePlus in Spanish [Internet]. Hodgkin’s lymphoma – NIH: National Cancer Institute [accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/hodgkinlymphoma.html#:~:text=%C2%BFWhat%C3%A9%20is%20the%20lymphoma%20of%20the%20body%20of%20infections%20and%20diseases.

[2] Hodgkin’s lymphoma – Healthwise Staff – Medical evaluation:

  1. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart MD – Medical Oncology [published May. 2022; accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://www.cigna.com/es-us/knowledge-center/hw/temas-de-salud/linfoma-de-hodgkin-abo8543#:~:text=The%20Hodgkin%20lymphoma%20of%20Hodgkin%20is%20a%20c%20C3%A1ncer%20very%20ccurable%20compared,age%20when%20diagnosed%20it%20is%20diagnosed.

[3] Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Statistics – American Society of Clinical Oncology – Approved by Cancer.Net Editorial Board [published Feb.2022; accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://www.cancer.net/es/tipos-de-c%C3%A1ncer/linfoma-de-hodgkin/estad%C3%ADsticas

[4] Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk factors – The American Cancer Society [updated May 2018; accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://www.cancer.org/es/cancer/linfoma-hodgkin/causas-riesgos-prevencion/factores-de-riesgo.html

[5] Inherited genetic variants increase the risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma- Spanish LabMedica editorial team [updated Sep. 2022; accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://www.labmedica.es/hematologia/articles/294794645/variantes-geneticas-heredadas-aumentan-el-riesgo-de-linfoma-de-hodgkin.html

[6] Hodgkin Lymphoma: Diagnosis -American Society of Clinical Oncology – Approved by Cancer.Net Editorial Board [published Apr. 2019; accessed Feb. 2023] Available at: https://www.cancer.net/es/tipos-de-cancer/linfoma-de-hodgkin/diagn%C3%B3stico


Written by Debora Pino García


The influence of genetics on celiac disease

What is celiac disease? Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the digestive system. It is characterized by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and crossbreeds of these grains. When a person with celiac disease consumes...

read more

April 25th: World DNA Day

April 25th: World DNA DayThe discovery of DNA is one of the most significant milestones in the history of science and, to this day, remains the basis for many medical discoveries and advances. April 25th is the day on which two main passages in genetics and, by...

read more

Is pancreatic cancer hereditary?

The pancreas is a glandular organ behind the stomach and in front of the spine. It produces gastric juices, enzymes that break down food, and several hormones that help control blood glucose levels. A tumor starts developing when there’s an abnormal growth of the...

read more

Lynch syndrome and genetic inheritance

Lynch syndrome is a genetic disorder that increases the likelihood of developing certain types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer. For this reason, Lynch disease has always been referred to as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer [1]. If you want to know...

read more

Is neuroblastoma hereditary?

There are different types of cancerous tumors, depending on several aspects: where they develop, the causes, the tissue they affect, etc. In this case, we will talk about neuroblastoma, a cancer in immature nerve cells found in different body parts.  It's a malignant...

read more

Colorectal cancer and genetics

Genetics is an essential factor in the development of colorectal cancer. A large number of genes may influence each person's predisposition to develop this disease at some point in his or their life. In addition, these genes may also be involved in developing other...

read more

Myasthenia gravis and genetics

Myasthenia gravis is a disease that belongs to the group of neuromuscular diseases, described as disorders that affect the connection between muscles and nerves, resulting in muscle weakness, fatigue, and a range of other symptoms. Millions of people worldwide suffer...

read more
    Your cart is empty
      Calculate Shipping
      Apply Coupon