Things You Need To Know About Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of Lymphoma in which cancer begins at the lymphatic system. 


People belonging to any age group can have the disease but is prevalent in people between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age. People over the age of 55 are also at an elevated risk of getting affected with the disease. 


This article will let you know the essential things you need to know about Hodgkin's Lymphoma disease.

Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a type of Lymphoma in which cancer begins at the lymphatic system.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hodgkin's Lymphoma?


Following are the most common warning signs and symptoms of the disease:


  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck, groin or armpits
  • Fever
  • Persistent fatigues
  • Night chills
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe itching
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problem
  • Cough
  • Enlarged spleen

What Causes Hodgkin's Lymphoma?


The cause of the disease is not yet confirmed. It usually starts with the development of gene mutations in the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are our disease-fighting mechanisms that are adversely affected. 


The mutation in the gene causes the cells to grow and divide quickly. As a result, the diseased or cancer cells go on multiplying in the body of the person. 


Several types of Hodgkin's Lymphoma exist. The treatment you will be given depends on the type and characteristics of the cells involved. 

What Are The Types Of Hodgkin's Lymphoma?


There are five subtypes of Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Four of which classifies as the classic HL, and one classifies distinctly as nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL. 


1. Classic Hodgkin's Lymphoma (cHL):

Nearly 95% of the HLs account for classic HL. All of the four subtypes of cHL have Reed-Sternberg cells. 


Nodular Sclerosis Hodgkin's Lymphoma(NSCHL): 


  • One of the most widespread HL diseases in developed countries
  • Accounts for 7 out of 10 cases
  • Teens and young adults remain at the highest risk of getting the disease, although it can affect people of any age group
  • Usually begins at the lymph nodes of the chest or neck


Mixed Cellularity Hodgkin's Lymphoma: 


  • The second most widespread HL diseases
  • Accounts for 4 out of 10 cases
  • People with HIV usually get this type of disease
  • Mostly begin at the lymph node located at the upper section of the body


Lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin's Lymphoma:


  • Very rare as compared to the above two subtypes of HL
  • Usually happens in the upper section of the body
  • Remains limited to a few lymph nodes  


Lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin's Lymphoma:


  • It is also sporadic
  • Occurs in an older class of people or people infected with the HIV
  • Most aggressive of all the subtypes
  • It usually affects multiple lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and bone marrow. 


2. Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma


  • Accounts for about 5% of the total cases
  • Usually involves large cells that appear like popcorn. So, the name popcorn cells are given to them. They are the mutants of Reed-Sternberg cells. 
  • Mostly begins at the lymph nodes of the neck or armpits
  • Men are at higher risk for the disease as compared to women
  • It advances very slowly, and the type of treatment is extremely different from the classic HLs. 

Also Read: Most Common Myths About Erectile Dysfunction

How Is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Diagnosed?


Following tests are done to diagnose the disease:


  • A blood test is done to have a proper analysis of the count of RBCs, WBCs, and platelets. 
  • You can also undergo various imaging tests like CT scan, chest x-ray, or MRI to confirm if the presence of some infection is the root cause of your symptoms. 
  • An echocardiogram can help detect how well your heart is performing. 
  • Lung function tests determine how well your lungs are performing.
  • Lymph node biopsy is a test in which a small sample of tissue is taken out from the body and examined for the existence of cancerous or abnormal cells. 
  • Bone marrow biopsy is a test in which a person's bone marrow is evaluated to detect the spread of cancer.
  • Immunophenotyping is used to identify the type of existing lymphoma cells.

How Is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Treated?


Below are some of the available treatment alternatives available for the disease:


1. Chemotherapy:

In this, certain chemicals are used to kill cancer cells. The drug traverses through the bloodstream and reaches every part of the body. You can take medicine as a pill or via an injection in a vein of your arm, depending upon the type of medication.


Common Side Effects:


  • Nausea
  • Hair loss


Serious Long-term Complications:


  • Lung damage
  • Heart damage
  • Fertility disorders
  • Other cancers like Leukemia

2. Radiation Therapy:

It uses beams of high radiation like x-ray or protons to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often followed by radiation therapy in people suffering from classic Hodgkin's disease. While only radiation therapy is given to those suffering from initial stage nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma. 


Common Side effects:


  • Hair loss
  • Skin redness
  • Fatigue


Serious Long-term Complications:


  • Stroke
  • Heart diseases
  • Fertility disorders
  • Other cancer like Lung or breast cancer


3. Bone Marrow Transplant:

It replaces your diseased stem cells or bone marrow with healthy stem cells. It helps develop new bone marrow in your body. 


Your bone marrow is withdrawn, frozen, and preserved for later utilization. Then you will be provided with chemotherapy and radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells. Finally, your stem cells are destroyed and injected in the body from a vein in the arm. 


Side Effects:


  • Mouth and throat pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Susceptibility to various infections
  • Bleeding and transfusions


4. Other Drug Therapy


Other therapies, like immunotherapy and targeted treatment, can also help treat Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Let us discuss them in brief:


Immunotherapy: It activates your immune system to destroy or kill cancer cells.


Targeted Therapy: It utilizes targeted drugs to treat specific fragilities in the cancer cells. 


Common Side effects:


  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Body aches
  • High or low blood pressure


Tags: Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment, Does Lymphoma Cause Facial Flushing, Hodgkin Lymphoma Causes, HodgkinsLlymphoma Symptoms