The stage of Hodgkin lymphoma depends mainly on:
- The number and location of lymph nodes that have Hodgkin lymphoma cells
- Whether the disease has spread to the spleen, liver, bone marrow, lung, or bone
Stages of Hodgkin lymphoma
Doctors describe the stages of Hodgkin lymphoma using the Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV. Stage I is early-stage cancer, and Stage IV is advanced cancer, such as Hodgkin lymphoma that has spread to the liver.
Lymphoma cells are in one lymph node group (such as the lymph nodes in the neck or armpit). Very rarely, Hodgkin lymphoma may start somewhere in the body other than a lymph node and lymphoma cells are found in only that one part.
Lymphoma cells are in at least two lymph node groups, but both groups are on the same side of the diaphragm. Or, lymphoma cells are in one part of a tissue or an organ and the lymph nodes near that organ on the same side of the diaphragm. Lymphoma cells may be in other lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm.
Lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm. Lymphoma cells may also be found in one part of a tissue or an organ near these lymph node groups or in the spleen.
Lymphoma cells are found in several parts of at least one organ or tissue. Or, lymphoma cells are in an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) and in lymph nodes on the other side of the diaphragm.
A, B, E, and S
In addition to using the Roman numerals I, II, III, and IV, doctors describe the stages of Hodgkin lymphoma with the letters A, B, E, and S.
A and B
Your doctor may describe the stage as A or B:
- A (without symptoms): You have not had symptoms, such as weight loss, drenching night sweats, or fevers.
- B (with symptoms): You have had symptoms, such as weight loss, drenching night sweats, or fevers.
E and S
Your doctor may describe the stage with an E, S, or both letters:
- E (outside the lymph system): Lymphoma is found in tissues outside the lymph system, such as in liver or lung tissue. Other less common places to find lymphoma include the bone, bone marrow, skin, digestive tract, kidneys, ovaries, or testicles. For example, the stage may be IIE.
- S (in the spleen): Lymphoma is found in the spleen. For example, the stage may be IIIS.