Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, including the lymph nodes. In people with this condition, the cancer typically spreads from one lymph node to a neighboring one.

Unlike people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, those with Hodgkin lymphoma have Reed-Sternberg cells. These are abnormally large B lymphocytes that often have more than one nucleus. Doctors can find these cells quite easily in lymph fluid using a microscope.

With treatment, Hodgkin lymphoma has a high cure and survival rate.

In this article, we discuss Hodgkin lymphoma, including its symptoms, causes, treatment options, and outlook.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system.

Hodgkin lymphoma usually begins in B lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that produce antibodies to help the immune system mount a response to infection.

Not all people with Hodgkin lymphoma have symptoms. However, some people may experience signs that could point to this condition.

The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a swollen lymph node under the skin. This often appears as a lump in the neck, armpit, or groin.

The lump may not hurt all the time, but it might hurt more after a person has drunk alcohol.

However, a swollen lymph node does not necessarily mean a person has cancer, since lymph nodes often swell when the body is tackling infection.

If the swollen lymph node hurts when a person touches it, it could be due to an infection. It will go down when the infection has healed.

However, when a lymph node swells for no apparent reason, and the swelling remains, it could be indicative of cancer.

Learn more about other causes of swollen lymph nodes here.

Sometimes, swollen lymph nodes occur with other symptoms, such as coughing or difficulty breathing. This is because of the pressure a swollen lymph node puts on the chest.

Still other symptoms some people may experience include:

Anyone can develop Hodgkin lymphoma, which occurs when healthy cells divide and grow uncontrollably.

However, some factors can increase the risk of this condition, including:

Learn about EBV testing here.

There is no known effective strategy for preventing Hodgkin lymphoma or the EBV, which increases the likelihood of developing this type of cancer.

Infection with HIV can increase a persons risk of Hodgkin lymphoma. Ways to lower the risk of HIV include limiting intravenous drug use and avoiding unprotected sex.

Learn more about the causes of HIV here.

There are several factors doctors look at when staging Hodgkin lymphoma:

People with bulky disease have stage 2 or higher cancer. They have tumors that are larger than 4 inches anywhere in the body, or a tumor that is at least one-third as wide as the chest.

Doctors usually add an X to the stage to indicate bulky disease.

In lymphoma, bulky disease may mean a person requires more treatment.

In addition to a number, stages of cancer may also appear written with an A or B.

A person may have B stage cancer if they experience:

If these symptoms are not present, the person has an A stage cancer.

A person may hear a doctor use the following terms when discussing Hodgkin lymphoma:

There are two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma:

At least 90% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases are CHL. This type of cancer occurs when B lymphocytes develop into a type of cancer called Reed-Sternberg cells.

There are four subtypes of CHL:

About 5% of Hodgkin lymphoma cases are nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL). This type of the condition causes a form of Reed-Sternberg cells called popcorn cells.

This slow-growing cancer often begins in the armpit and neck.

People of all ages can develop NLPHL. It is, however, more common in males than in females.

Both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma affect the lymphatic system.

The main difference between these two types of cancer is that people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma do not have Reed-Sternberg cells.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also more common than Hodgkin lymphoma.

The 5-year survival rate for all stages of Hodgkin lymphoma is 87%.

Most people who have survived 5 years with Hodgkin lymphoma will go on to recover.

However, many factors can affect a persons prognosis and the intensity of the treatment they need, including:

Access to quality, evidence-based treatment could also have an impact on a persons outlook.

Moreover, some people relapse after going into remission or do not respond to initial treatment. Data suggest about 30% of people with this type of cancer experience a relapse.

A doctor may suspect lymphoma when a person has unexplained swollen lymph nodes.

A biopsy of the lymph node can test for cancer cells.

In most cases, a doctor will cut out the entire lymph node for testing. They may also insert a needle into the lymph node and remove some fluid.

If a person gets a lymphoma diagnosis, a doctor may recommend a bone marrow biopsy. This procedure involves inserting a needle into the bone to see whether the cancer has spread to the bone marrow.

Learn about bone marrow cancer here.

Hodgkin lymphoma can spread quickly throughout the body. However, it is one of the most treatable types of cancer.

Treatment will depend on disease staging and other risk factors. For example, people with bulky advanced stage CHL do not respond well to radiation, so a doctor may advise against it.

In general, treatment options include:

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. It has a high remission rate, and most people with this condition survive.

Survival rates are best in people who receive an early diagnosis. Therefore, it is important to contact a doctor as soon as possible for any unexplained changes in a lymph node, or other symptoms of infection or illness.

Originally posted here:

Hodgkin lymphoma: Symptoms, outlook, treatment, and more - Medical News Today

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