The doctor considers the following to determine the stage of Hodgkin lymphoma:
The number of lymph nodes that have Hodgkin lymphoma cells
Whether these lymph nodes are on one or both sides of the diaphragm (see picture)
Whether the disease has spread to the bone marrow, spleen, liver, or lung.
The stages of Hodgkin lymphoma are as follows:
Stage I: The lymphoma cells are in one lymph node group (such as in the neck or underarm). Or, if the lymphoma cells are not in the lymph nodes, they are in only one part of a tissue or an organ
Stage II: The lymphoma cells are in at least two lymph node groups on the same side of (either above or below) the diaphragm. Or, the 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). There may be lymphoma cells in other lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm.
Stage III: The lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Lymphoma also may be found in one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) near these lymph node groups. It may also be found in the spleen.
Stage IV: Lymphoma cells are found in several parts of one or more organs or tissues. Or, the lymphoma is in an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) and in distant lymph nodes.
Recurrent: The disease returns after treatment.
In addition to these stage numbers, your doctor may also describe the stage as A or B:
A: You have not had weight loss, drenching night sweats, or fevers.
B: You have had weight loss, drenching night sweats, or fevers.