Hodgkin’s Disease – Definition, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hodgkin’s disease is a group of cancers. It also called is lymphomas. Hodgkin’s is a malignancy (cancer) of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common among people 15 to 35 and 50 to 70 years old. Lymph nodes make and store infection-fighting white blood cells, called lymphocytes. They are connected throughout the body by lymph vessels (narrow tubes similar to blood vessels). These lymph vessels carry a colorless, watery fluid (lymphatic fluid) that contains lymphocytes. Hodgkin’s disease can start almost anywhere, but most often starts in lymph nodes in the upper part of the body. The most common sites are in the chest, neck, or under the arms. . It rarely gets into the blood vessels and can spread to almost any other site in the body, including the liver and lungs. Lymph nodes enlarge for many reasaons. Although Hodgkin’s disease is one cause, enlarged lymph nodes are more commonly a result of the body fighting an infection. There are two kinds of lymphomas: Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. The cancer cells in Hodgkin’s disease are called Reed-Sternberg cells.

Most scientists now believe that Reed-Sternberg cells are a type of malignant B lymphocyte. Normal B lymphocytes are the cells that make antibodies that help fight infections. Systemic symptoms such as fever and weight loss. Hodgkin’s lymphoma most common sign and symptoms is Swollen and it is a painless. About one-third of people with Hodgkin’s disease may also notice some systemic symptoms, such as low-grade fever, night sweats, weight loss, itchy skin (pruritus), or fatigue. Splenomegaly, or enlargement of the spleen, occurs in about 30% of people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The enlargement, however, is seldom massive. The liver may also be enlarged due to liver involvement in the disease in about 5% of cases. Hodgkin’s cause germs or by eating the wrong foods. People who have had Epstein-Barr virus, which can cause infectious mononucleosis (mono), may be at a slightly higher risk for Hodgkin’s.

Causes of Hodgkin’s Disease

1.Germs( Epstein-Barr virus).

2.Eating the wrong foods.

3.Nodular sclerosis.

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Disease

1.Fatigue.

2.Fever and chills.

3.Night sweats.

4.Weight loss.

5.Loss of appetite.

6.Neck pain.

7.Hair loss.

Treatment of Hodgkin’s Disease

1.Chemotherapy (using drugs to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors).

2.Bone marrow and peripheral blood transplants – transplants (actually high dose chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy with a “rescue” of the immune system) are being used for certain patients, especially with recurrent disease.

3.Immunotherapy is being studied in Hodgkin’s treatment including monoclonal antibody therapy (such as rituxan) and vaccine therapy may not be far off.

4.Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

5.Several types of therapy may be combined – for example immunotherapy is being studied in conjunction with traditional chemotherapy drugs.