Encyclopedia

Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s immune system.

The disease is characterized by abnormal growth of lymph cells, which can spread outside the lymphatic system. As lymphoma progresses, the body’s ability to fight infections is compromised.

The disease is among the most common cancers of the lymphatic system after non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which affects many more people.

Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease provide the possibility of control and complete cure.

What are the symptoms?

• Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin;
• Prolonged feeling of fatigue and weakness;
• High temperature and chills;< br/> • Night sweats;
• Unexplained weight loss – about 10% or more of the usual weight;
• Loss of appetite;
• Itching;
• Increased sensitivity to alcohol effect or pain in the lymph nodes after alcohol consumption;

When to seek medical attention?

Seek medical attention if you have any doubts that you may have acquired the disease.

What are the causes?

Scientists have found that this type of lymphoma most often occurs when infection-fighting immune cells called B cells develop a mutation in their DNA.

The mutation causes faster cell division and an extension of their lifespan compared to normal B cells.

The change causes a large number of abnormally large cells to accumulate in the lymphatic system and causes normal healthy cells to crowd out.

This process is the cause of the symptoms of the disease.

There are several varieties of this type of lymphoma. The variety is based on the type of cells affected and their behavior.

Classic shape

This is the more common form of the disease. In people with this diagnosis, the cells in the lymph nodes are unusually large and abnormal and are called Reed-Sternberg.

Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma

In this very rare type of lymphoma, the B cells are very large and abnormal and are sometimes called popcorn cells because of their appearance.

Treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Which treatment options are appropriate depends on the type and stage of the disease, general health, and patient preference. The goal of treatment is to destroy as many cancer cells as possible and eventually to enter the disease into remission.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment in which the active ingredients of the administered drugs are used to destroy the lymphoma cells.

Drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach almost any part of the body. Radiation therapy is often used in people in the early stages of the classic form of lymphoma.

Usually radiation procedures are performed after 1 course of chemotherapy. In advanced stage of the disease, chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiation therapy may be prescribed.

Drugs in the course of chemotherapy can be taken orally in the form of tablets or intravenously, but sometimes both routes of administration are used.

Chemotherapy side effects are determined by the drugs that are prescribed. Common side effects are hair loss and nausea.

But sometimes it is possible to develop long-term complications such as damage to the heart, lungs, fertility problems and some other cancers such as leukemia.

Stem cell transplantation

In this procedure, the damaged bone marrow is replaced with healthy stem cells, which will help the growth of new, healthy bone marrow. This treatment is given if the disease returns despite chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

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