Hodgkin's Lymphoma, also called Hodgkin's Disease, is the type of lymphoma where Hodgkin's cells start in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of organs, nodes, and vessels throughout your body.
Normally, your lymphatic system helps you immune system fight infections and get rid of waste. In fact, one type of white blood cell within your lymphatic system is called a lymphocyte, and these cells can help protect you from germs and infections.
Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which originates from a type of lymphocyte called B lymphocytes, produces proteins called antibodies which latch onto foreign invaders and tell your immune system to destroy them.
Lymphocytes grow abnormally & push out healthy white blood cells from the body in people with Hodgkin's lymphoma. They are difficult to fight and can lead to a general inability for the body to fight infection as the disease progresses.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphoma, it's important to understand what this disease is and the symptoms it could produce. This way, you'll be able to seek treatment to put a stop to the tumor growth.
Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin's disease, is a type of lymphoma, meaning cancer of the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system consists of nodes (knots of tissue) that are connected through vessels and drain fluid and waste products from the body. Lymph nodes act as tiny filters and quickly filter out foreign cells or organisms.
The lymphatic system helps your body fight off bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. When the lymphatic system is fighting an active infection, you may notice swollen lymph nodes and painful tenderness in the area around the infection. This is normal for your body's reaction to an infection.
When the lymph nodes cells or lymphocytes start to multiply uncontrollably, neoplasm cells begin to form. These malignant cells can invade other tissues throughout your body.
Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two forms of lymphoma. They're classified by certain traits about the cancer cells.
Hodgkin’s disease is caused by a build-up of abnormal cells in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps to fight infection and disease, and is made up of a network of vessels and nodes that transport lymph fluid around the body. In Hodgkin’s disease, the abnormal cells grow in the lymph nodes and other parts of the lymphatic system, such as the spleen or bone marrow. These cells then crowd out the healthy cells, making it difficult for the lymphatic system to work properly.
The exact cause of Hodgkin’s disease is unknown, but there are certain risk factors that may increase your chance of developing the condition. These include:
• Age – Hodgkin’s disease is most common in young adults aged 15-24 years old, and people over the age of 55 years old.
• Gender – Men are slightly more likely to develop Hodgkin’s disease than women.
• Family history – If you have a family member with Hodgkin’s disease, you may be more likely to develop it yourself.
• Infection with Epstein-Barr virus – This virus is linked to an increased risk of developing Hodgkin’s disease.
There are a few different symptoms of Hodgkin’s disease, and they can vary in severity. The most common symptom is enlarged lymph nodes, which can be felt as lumps under the skin. Other symptoms include fever, night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue. In some cases, patients may also experience itching or pain in the affected lymph nodes. If the disease progresses, it can lead to more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, or an enlarged spleen.
There are two types of treatment for Hodgkin’s disease: radiation therapy and chemotherapy. High-energy beams, like X-rays, are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Drugs are used in chemotherapy to kill cancer cells.
Radiation therapy is the most common type of treatment for Hodgkin’s disease. It can be given in two ways:
External radiation therapy: The radiation comes from a machine outside the body.
Internal radiation therapy: The radiation comes from a device that is placed inside the body.
Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy to treat Hodgkin’s disease. There are two ways to administer chemotherapy:
Systemic chemotherapy: The drugs are injected into a vein or taken by mouth. After entering the bloodstream, the drugs circulate throughout the body.
Regional chemotherapy: The drugs are put directly into an artery that goes to the tumor.
There are four main stages of Hodgkin’s disease:
Stage I: There is one lymph node group involved.
Stage II: There are two or more lymph node groups involved, but they are on the same side of the diaphragm (the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing).
Stage III: There are lymph node groups on both sides of the diaphragm involved.
Stage IV: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body beyond the lymph nodes, such as the liver, lungs, or bone marrow.
The most common side effect of treatment for Hodgkin’s disease is fatigue. The cancer itself or the therapy may be to blame for this. Fatigue can range from mild to severe and can last for weeks or months after treatment. Other possible side effects include:
-Skin changes (rashes, dryness, itching, etc.)
-Weight gain or weight loss
-Muscle aches and pains
-Problems with sexual function and fertility
Depending on the type of treatment you receive, other side effects may occur. Be sure to talk to your doctor about all the possible side effects of your treatment.
Hodgkin's disease is a serious condition that can be fatal if left untreated. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis for Hodgkin's disease is generally good. If you or someone you know has symptoms of Hodgkin's disease, it is important to see a doctor right away so that the condition can be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
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