What is hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin Lymphoma: Overview

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects part of the immune system (lymph system). Cells normally found in the lymph nodes and spleen can increase in number and collect in areas where they cause problems. Hodgkin lymphoma is not contagious and is not caused by an injury.

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma depends on the stage of the lymphoma and what type of lymphoma you have. It is usually treated with medicines called chemotherapy. You may also need radiation treatments or a procedure called a stem cell transplant. Or you may have targeted therapy or immunotherapy. Your doctor will talk to you about what kind of treatment may be best for you.

Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is cancer that begins in the lymph system in white blood cells called lymphocytes. When these cells become abnormal, they grow without control and may form lumps of tissue called tumors.

The most common type of Hodgkin lymphoma is called classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The cancerous tumors (lymphomas) in classical Hodgkin lymphoma contain Reed-Sternberg cells. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas don't have these cells.

Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include enlargement of the lymph nodes, fever, appetite loss, weight loss, and night sweats.

Hodgkin lymphoma affects men more often than women. The cause of Hodgkin lymphoma is not known.

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma depends on the stage of the lymphoma and may include radiation or chemotherapy.

What are the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma?

Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, a fever, weight loss, and night sweats.

How is Hodgkin lymphoma treated?

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is based on the type and stage of cancer and other things, such as your overall health. The main treatment is chemotherapy. Other treatment options may include radiation therapy, stem cell transplant, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.

How is Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you about your and your family's medical history and will do a physical exam. You may also get:

  • Lab tests, including a complete blood count, to check the number of white and red blood cells.
  • A biopsy. The doctor may remove part or all of a lymph node to check for cancer. A biopsy is the only sure way to know if you have the cancer.
  • A PET scan, a CT scan, or a PET-CT scan.
  • Other tests, as needed.

How can you care for yourself when you have Hodgkin lymphoma?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Eat healthy food. If you do not feel like eating, try to eat food that has protein and extra calories to keep up your strength and prevent weight loss.
  • Get some physical activity every day, but do not get too tired.
  • Get enough sleep and take time to do things you enjoy. This can help reduce stress.
  • Think about joining a support group. Or discuss your concerns with your doctor, counselor, or other health professional.
  • If you are vomiting or have diarrhea:
    • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Choose water and other clear liquids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
    • When you are able to eat, try clear soups, mild foods, and liquids until all symptoms are gone for 12 to 48 hours. Other good choices include dry toast, crackers, cooked cereal, and gelatin dessert, such as Jell-O.
  • If you have not already done so, prepare a list of advance directives. Advance directives are instructions to your doctor and family members about what kind of care you want if you become unable to speak or express yourself.

What causes Hodgkin lymphoma?

Experts don't know what causes Hodgkin lymphoma. But they do know that gene changes (mutations) occur in white blood cells called lymphocytes. These gene changes lead to cancer that affects the immune system and keeps it from working as it should.

Some of the gene changes in Hodgkin lymphoma may be triggered by an abnormal reaction to an infection.

What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that begins in part of the immune system (the lymph system). White blood cells called lymphocytes can become abnormal or increase in number and grow without control. They may form lumps of tissue called tumors, usually in the lymph nodes of the neck, armpits, or chest.

Like other cancers, Hodgkin can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. To find out how severe your cancer is, your doctor will classify it by type and stage.

Hodgkin is a very curable cancer compared to other cancers. But treatment success depends on your gender, the type of Hodgkin you have, its stage, and your age when you are diagnosed.

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