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Hodgkin lymphoma

What is it?

 

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which consists of glands and vessels throughout the body that make up part of the immune system.

 

The cancer usually affects younger people between the ages of 20-34, and the survival rate is hight at 87% including people with advanced cancer.

 

Tell me more.

 

In the lymphatic system there is clear fluid that contains a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. In Hodgkin lymphoma the B-lymphocytes start to grow too much and collect in the glands (lymph nodes) around the body.

The cancer can then grow outside of the glands and continue to spread almost anywhere else in the body with common places in the

  • liver
  • bone marrow
  • spleen

 

Hodgkin lymphoma differs from non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of a large cancer cell that is present in almost all Hodgkin lymphoma cases called Reed-Sternberg cells.

 

What are the types?

 

There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma called classic Hodgkin lymphoma and Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hodgkin lymphoma.

 

Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hogkin lymphoma

 

Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hodgkin lymphoma only makes up 5% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases and is most common among men between the ages of 35 and 40. This type does not produce Reed-Sternberg cells and has a very good survival rate, especially if it is diagnosed at an early stage.

 

Classic Hodgkin lymphoma

 

Classic Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common, making up 95% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases. There are 4 main subtypes of the classic form of this cancer which include

  • nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma
  • mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma
  • lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin lymphoma
  • lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin lymphoma

 

Out of the 4, nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma account for 60-80% of the cases and is most common in young people.

 

Who's most at risk?

 

There are a few risk factors for developing Hodgkin lymphoma such as being male or having family history.

 

Certain viruses such as mono (the kissing disease), and HIV can also make a person more likely to develop Hodgkin lymphoma in her lifetime.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

To diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma your doctor will do a series of tests including

  • a physical exam
  • blood tests to look at liver and kidney function
  • biopsy of a lymph node
  • imaging scan such as an X-Ray, CT, PET or MRI
  • scan of the heart
  • bone marrow sample (biopsy)
  • a pulmonary function test (test of how well the lungs are working)

 

Staging of Hodgkin lymphoma is similar to most cancers between stage 1 (early) and stage 4 (advanced). Additionally with Hodgkin lymphoma, the stage might include letter A or B. Staging including A indicates that you don't have significant symptoms, while stagin with B indicates that you have significant symptoms such as fever, weight loss and night sweats.

 

Chemotherapy and radiation are often both used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. A bone marrow transplant will also be considered for treatment if the cancer comes back after having both chemo and radiation.

 

Lastly, there are other drugs used for targeted therapy which attack cancer cells or build the immune system to fight the cancer cells more affectively. This is usually if your cancer isn't responding to other treatment.

 

What is it?

 

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which consists of glands and vessels throughout the body that make up part of the immune system.

 

The cancer usually affects younger people between the ages of 20-34, and the survival rate is hight at 87% including people with advanced cancer.

 

Tell me more.

 

In the lymphatic system there is clear fluid that contains a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes. In Hodgkin lymphoma the B-lymphocytes start to grow too much and collect in the glands (lymph nodes) around the body.

Graphic representation of Hodgkin lymphoma

The cancer can then grow outside of the glands and continue to spread almost anywhere else in the body with common places in the

  • liver
  • bone marrow
  • spleen

 

Hodgkin lymphoma differs from non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of a large cancer cell that is present in almost all Hodgkin lymphoma cases called Reed-Sternberg cells.

 

What are the types?

 

There are two main types of Hodgkin lymphoma called classic Hodgkin lymphoma and Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hodgkin lymphoma.

 

Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hogkin lymphoma

 

Nodular lymphocyte-predominate Hodgkin lymphoma only makes up 5% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases and is most common among men between the ages of 35 and 40. This type does not produce Reed-Sternberg cells and has a very good survival rate, especially if it is diagnosed at an early stage.

 

Classic Hodgkin lymphoma

 

Classic Hodgkin lymphoma is much more common, making up 95% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases. There are 4 main subtypes of the classic form of this cancer which include

  • nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma
  • mixed cellularity Hodgkin lymphoma
  • lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin lymphoma
  • lymphocyte depletion Hodgkin lymphoma

 

Out of the 4, nodular sclerosing Hodgkin lymphoma account for 60-80% of the cases and is most common in young people.

 

Who's most at risk?

 

There are a few risk factors for developing Hodgkin lymphoma such as being male or having family history.

 

Certain viruses such as mono (the kissing disease), and HIV can also make a person more likely to develop Hodgkin lymphoma in her lifetime.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

 

To diagnose Hodgkin lymphoma your doctor will do a series of tests including

  • a physical exam
  • blood tests to look at liver and kidney function
  • biopsy of a lymph node
  • imaging scan such as an X-Ray, CT, PET or MRI
  • scan of the heart
  • bone marrow sample (biopsy)
  • a pulmonary function test (test of how well the lungs are working)

 

Staging of Hodgkin lymphoma is similar to most cancers between stage 1 (early) and stage 4 (advanced). Additionally with Hodgkin lymphoma, the stage might include letter A or B. Staging including A indicates that you don't have significant symptoms, while stagin with B indicates that you have significant symptoms such as fever, weight loss and night sweats.

 

Chemotherapy and radiation are often both used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma. A bone marrow transplant will also be considered for treatment if the cancer comes back after having both chemo and radiation.

 

Lastly, there are other drugs used for targeted therapy which attack cancer cells or build the immune system to fight the cancer cells more affectively. This is usually if your cancer isn't responding to other treatment.

 

Symptom list:

Hodgkin lymphoma

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Financial support

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p.s. Just because you have insurance, that doesn't mean that charities or other organizations are not able to support you too.

Emotional support

Whether it's a free counseling session or to find someone with a similar diagnosis, these Germie approved charities might be able to help. Click to explore their offerings!

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