One of the common cancers across the world, Hodgkin Lymphoma affects the lymphatic system of the body. The cancer causes the cells in the lymphatic systems grow uncontrollably and spread across the body. There are mainly two types of lymphoma cancers, Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and the other Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL). The latter is much more common as compared to the first one. The treatment is different for both and hence it’s vital to know what kind of lymphoma you suffer from.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma usually occurs around 20 to 40 years of age of after 55. The risk factors for this condition include a family history with the condition and a history of Epstein Barr infection. The condition is most common in between 15 and 30 year olds and particularly males.
The diagnosis requires a physical examination and blood tests, imaging tests or biopsy if lymph node as well as bone marrow if needed. The treatment is based on the diagnosis and the stage of cancer. The Hodgkin’s lymphoma has four stages of cancers.
Stage 1 – It’s the preliminary stage of cancer when it is limited to the single organ or lymph node only.
Stage 2 – If the cancer has spread through other lymph nodes and another nearby organ as well, it is stage 2.
Stage 3 – Stage 3 cancer is when the cancer spreads to lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm.
Stage 4 – Known to be the most advanced stage of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Stage IV is when the cancer is spread through lymph nodes as well as other parts of the body like lungs, bones and liver.
If diagnosed at an early stage the cancer can be cured to a great extent and even the life expectancy levels increase. Though, accurate diagnosis is the key and it requires an expert pathologist to do so because there have been a lot of cases of misdiagnosis based on biopsy tests due to lack of experience. So, a good idea is to take second opinion even if it is diagnosed.
Based on the diagnosis, the treatment involves chemotherapy sessions that uses chemicals to treat the affected cells. Post the chemotherapy, radiation therapy is carried out. At times they are done in combination. While chemotherapy can be done using pill or even through veins, radiation therapy involves usage of high energy rays like protons and X-rays to kill the cancer causing cells. The therapy is spread over several weeks and is carried out daily for half an hour period. Another option that could work is bone marrow transplant but there is a possibility of underlying infection risk. Targeted therapy is another kind of treatment that focuses on targeting specific cells and immunotherapy works in activating your immune system to fight these cancer cells. If these treatment are of no use then genetic mutations is another way that involves using drugs that target specific mutations of the lymphoma cells. Targeted therapy is the latest in cancer treatment options and is under research.
*Sourced from the Internet
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