Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatments for Hodgkin lymphoma

If you have Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer.

The stage of HL (if it is early or advanced) is the main factor that your healthcare team will consider when deciding which treatments to offer. They will also take the following into account:

  • the type of HL
  • the areas of the body affected by HL
  • your age
  • your overall health

You may be offered one or more of the following treatments for HL.


Chemotherapy is the main treatment for HL. It is usually followed by radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is usually given after chemotherapy. It may also be given alone as the main treatment for early stage HL when the lymphoma cells are only in the area of the body where the cancer started (called localized disease).

Stem cell transplant

A stem cell transplant may be used to treat HL that comes back (relapses, or recurs), after other treatments or that no longer responds to treatment (called refractory disease).

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy drugs may be given if HL relapses or no longer responds to treatment.

Follow-up care

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. You will need to have regular follow-up visits in the first 5 years after treatment has finished, and then yearly after that. These visits allow your healthcare team to monitor your progress and recovery from treatment.

Clinical trials

Some clinical trials in Canada are open to people with Hodgkin lymphoma. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Questions to ask about treatment

To make the decisions that are right for you, ask your healthcare team questions about treatment.


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