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Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a lymphatic cancer that can progress to any of four stages.

Published July 26, 2011 05:48

Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Lymphocytes

Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of lymphatic cancer primarily affecting people 15-35 years old or those over 55. People at higher risk for the disease include those with prior Ebstein-Barr virus infection, present immune deficiency (HIV disease or on immunosuppressant medications) and a family history of lymphoma. Symptoms can include persistent enlarged painless lymph nodes, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, persistent cough, chest pain or trouble breathing.

A biopsy of a lymph node is needed to make a diagnosis. The evaluation of the patient with Hodgkin's Lymphoma also involves blood tests, X-rays, CT scans and sometimes bone marrow biopsies.

The prognosis of this disease, as with many cancers, depends on what stage the patient is in at the time they begin treatment. 

Stage I - disease is confined to only one lymph node

Stage II - disease is confined to several lymph nodes in one section of the body (above or below the diaphragm)

Stage III - disease is above and below the diaphragm

Stage IV - disease has spread to multiple organs throughout the body such as lung, liver, bone, etc.

Each stage is further defined by the letter A (no generalized symptoms) or B (generalized symptoms such as fever, weight loss, night sweats, loss of appetite).

The approach to treatment is based on the stage of the disease. Frequently, a combination of chemotherapy (medications) and radiation are used.

By Walter C. Taylor, MD

The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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