Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

There is a part of the immune system called the lymphatic system.  This system helps rid your body of toxins and waste. The lymphatic system has a fluid called lymph that travels through the body containing white blood cells that fight infections.  The white blood cells in the lymphatic system are called lymphocytes. When you have a genetic mutation of the lymphocytes that make these cells grow abnormally and multiply rapidly it can be the start of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates from the lymphocytes. There are less than 200,000 cases of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma per year reported. No one knows what causes Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but it is treatable when caught in enough time.  There is another type of lymphoma that is called non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which is more common than Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

 

Risk Factors

Anyone can be at risk for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but people between the ages of 15-30 and over 55 are more at risk.  Other risk factors are if you have a family history of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you have someone in your family who has had it it can make you more at risk.  Males are more at risk than women, though women can still get Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you have had a past Epstein Barr infection it can increase the likelihood of you getting Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well, such as having an infectious mononucleosis, heightens your chances more than someone who hasn’t suffered from one of those infections. 

 

Types

There are different subtypes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  The most common one is Classical Hodgkin’s. The second most common type is Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  This type is most common in teens and young adults. It accounts for about 7 out of every 10 cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Another subtype is called Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is seen in children and the elderly and people who have HIV.  This type isn’t as common but it is the second most common subtype following after Nodular Sclerosis. A third type of Hodgkin’s is Lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin’s lymphoma which is most common in elderly people and people with HIV.  It is very aggressive, and usually very advanced once it has been diagnosed. It is usually found in lymph nodes found in you abdomen. The rarest type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is Lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin’s which usually has no large masses like the other types.  Once you have seen your doctor they will be able to diagnose what type you have to know how to continue on with your treatment.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are the same regardless of what type you have.  You may experience just some of the symptoms or all of them. Some types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are less symptomatic.  One of the main symptoms is painless swelling of your lymph nodes. Usually in your neck, armpits, or groin lymph nodes.  These are the most noticeable to see the swelling. Another symptom is persistent fatigue. Others include fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, and severe itching.  If you experience any of these over a period of time you should go see your doctor.  

 

Diagnosis

Once at the doc