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Information on Hodgkins Lymphoma

by Marissa Willman
  • Overview

    Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells of lymphatic system, a part of the body's immune system. Lymphoma typically begins in lymphocytes and causes lymph nodes to swell. Hodgkin's lymphoma was discovered by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832.
  • Definition

    According to the National Cancer Institute, Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs when the Reed-Sternberg cell is present in the immune system. As the cells continue to grow abnormally, the body's immune system is compromised.
  • Risk Factors

    Risk factors for Hodgkin's lymphoma include a family history of the disease, a compromised immune system and a history of Epstein-Barr infection. People between the ages of 15 and 40, or over the age of 55, also have an increased risk.
  • Symptoms

    Symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, chills and loss of appetite. Increased sensitivity to alcohol, chest pain and significant, unexplained weight loss are also symptoms of the disease.
  • Diagnosis

    A doctor may suspect Hodgkin's lymphoma if the lymph nodes feel swollen. A biopsy of the patient's lymphatic tissue is necessary to determine if Reed-Sternberg cells are present.
  • Treatment

    Hodgkin's lymphoma can be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Each of these treatment options have risks that should be discussed with a doctor.

    References & Resources