Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: The ‘Good’ Cancer?

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: The ‘Good’ Cancer?

overcoming adversity
Following my Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) diagnosis, I encountered a plethora of people who responded with “Oh! But that’s the GOOD cancer, right?”

Me at my ninth chemo, just a few hours before being told I had blood clots in my lungs.

After my initial diagnosis my general practitioner under-prepared me for the treatment and experience I was about to endure. She had told me the treatment for Hodgkin’s is simple, and that I potentially could just treat it with chemo pills. After all, cancer treatment has come a long way.

Both myself and other HL patients I have met feel triggered when the cancer we had is minimized by the fact that it is curable (after five years of remission).

My good friend, Ashley, as she prepares for her transplant.

Since my diagnosis and treatment for lymphoma, I have encountered many other patients who have relapsed. More recently, one of my best cancer friends (who is now like a best friend) is about to have her stem cell transplant. Ashley has had to leave her family, including her two little boys, to be hospitalized in isolation while she goes through the stem cell transplant process.

Of course, treatments and prognosis have improved for HL. That is the case for most cancers these days, as more research and funds go toward finding cures.

The fact is that HL is a pretty rare cancer. According to Cancer.Net about 8,260 people are diagnosed with HL each year (in the U.S) and nearly 1,070 of those people do not survive the diagnosis.

If you’re diagnosed with cancer, you know that it’s not just the cancer that can kill you or make you sick. Along with a cancer diagnosis, many of us will experience short- and long-term side effects.

While other cancers can be harder to treat, I still did not get “the good cancer.” I got cancer. This cancer that I got, no matter how curable it is, has affected my life forever. 

It is important to remember that all cancers are SO different. People are SO different, and all treatments are SO different. 

While I know that people usually mean no harm when they say that HL is the “good cancer,” hearing that the cancer I had is “good” belittles my experience and adversity, which makes my journey seem less tough. That does not feel good. It is important to be mindful of the diagnosis and treatment that different people receive. Do not minimize their experience, because other experiences may be harder.

No one fights alone, and I believe that the day we say a cancer is “good” will be the day that all cancers are cured!


Note: Lymphoma News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lymphoma News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lymphoma.

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Radiant Racheli is an inspiring cancer survivor looking to spread smiles all over the internet by making video blogs on how to fight adversity with positivity and raises awareness for young adults with cancer. Racheli was diagnosed with Lymphoma at age 21 and video blogged her entire journey in its raw form. She laughs, she dances, she cries and, most importantly, she reminds us that everything is going to be okay.


  1. anon says:

    I know what you mean about the “good cancer” comment (I am on my 3rd major cancer, this last one is one of the non-hodgkin’s lymphomas and I have been told it is a good one because it is one of the indolent ones)… There are comments that are first cousins to the “good cancer” comment as well. I had someone tell me because I didn’t lose my hair my chemo wasn’t as “hard” as someone who did lose their hair. Ummm really? My bone marrow was nearly killed. My liver was damaged. I got sick and ran a temp of 102-104 for nearly 6 weeks… We could never get rid of my nausea, I ended up having to use a scooter in walmart to grocery shop because I was so fatigued… but this wasn’t as hard as someone who lost their hair. Seriously?

  2. Susan Powers says:

    This is my 5th cancer and it’s been the worst yet! I have had a hysterectomy due to cancer and meds due to cancer, but this cancer is very different. Surgery won’t fix this one or two rounds of chemo won’t fix this!! I have started ABVD, take oral meds and shots 3 times a week for 2 weeks. I feel like a walking chemo-zombie most days… Thank you for shining light on the fact that Lymphoma is not as simple as they make it sound…

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