Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer type that develops in the form of tumor in white blood cells called lymphocytes. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow in an abnormal way and even able to spread beyond the lymphatic system. As Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs, it directly affects your immune system and prevents your body’s ability to protect itself from infection.
One of two most common cancer types that affect the lymphatic system is Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The other type which is far more common is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is important that they behave, spread, and respond to treatment in different ways from each other.
Hodgkin lymphoma develops in a systematic way by spreading from one lymph node group to another. The reason of the Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not yet known. Serological and molecular biologic research suggests that people who had Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus before, which influences infectious mononucleosis, may have a higher risk to have Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, of course having one or more risk factor does not mean that you will definitely get the disease. And many people who get the disease may have few or no known risk factors. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common in young adults between 15 and 35 years and the people older than 55 years. According to the researches males are under risk more than the females. In the recent analyses it is also determined that Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in the United States, Canada, and Europe where as it is not frequent in African and Asian countries.
Initial symptoms usually begin with swelling of the lymph nodes. Over time, swelling spreads to the closer lymph nodes. The lymph glands are a bit hard and rubbery. Fever, night sweats, weight loss can also be seen in the first stages. The liver may also swell and cause discomfort.
The diagnosis is made by biopsy from the tissue. Advances in diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped give people with this diagnosis the chance for a full recovery. Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma may be applied radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hematopoietic stem cell transplantation depending on the age, sex and stage of the disease, tumor burden, and histopathological subtype of the patient. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be administered together or alone, depending on the disease stage. Patients have the chance to have a complete healing with correct diagnosis and correct treatment.