What is Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)?
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a type of lymphoma, a cancer of the blood that begins in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system which helps fight infections and some other diseases.
HD is derived from white blood cells that help protect you from germs and infections. These white blood cells are called lymphocytes. As the disease progresses, your body becomes increasingly difficult to fight infection.
HD Classic Hodgkin’s disease or nodular lymphocytic predisposition may be Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NLPHL). The type of HD depends on the type of cells in your condition and their behaviour.
The main cause of HD is unknown. The disease is associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis along with mutations or changes in DNA. HD can occur at any age, but it generally affects people between the ages of 15 and 40 and over 55.
- Hodgkin’s disease
Types of Hodgkin lymphoma
There are four subtypes of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, all of which are treated the same:
- Nodular sclerosis Classic Hodgkin lymphoma
- Mixed cellularity classical Hodgkin lymphoma
- Lymphocyte-rich classical Hodgkin lymphoma
- Lymphocyte-degenerated classical Hodgkin lymphoma
Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) behaves differently from classic Hodgkin lymphoma and is treated differently. This is often covered separately on our information page on NLPHL. Most cases of the classic Hodgkin lymphoma. just one in 10 cases are NLPHL.
Causes of Hodgkin lymphoma
Some researchers believe that Epstein-Barr virus infection can sometimes cause changes in the DNA of B lymphocytes. In some cases, this leads to the development of Reed-Sternberg cells, which are cancer cells in HL. DNA is a chemical in our cells that produces our genes that control how our cells work. But DNA affects more than how we are.
Oncogenes are genes that help cells grow, divide, and stay alive.
Genes that slow down cell division or kill cells at the right time are called tumour suppressor genes. Cancer is caused by changes in DNA that turn on oncogenes or stop tumour suppressor genes.
Reed-Sternberg cells also make substances called cytokines, which attract many other cells to the lymph node and cause it to swell (expand). Gradually, these non-cancer cells release substances that help Reed-Sternberg cells grow.
Although progress has been made in understanding how cancer cells work, scientists do not yet know what drives these processes. In some cases, an abnormal reaction to EBV infection or other infections can be triggered. But much more research is needed to understand what causes Hodgkin lymphoma.
Doctors don’t know what causes Hodgkin lymphoma. It begins when an infection-fighting cell called a lymphocyte develops a mutation. The mutation tells the cell to multiply rapidly, which causes many diseased cells to stay multiplying.
The mutation causes an outsized number of abnormal lymphocytes to accumulate within the systema lymphaticum, where they excrete healthy cells and cause signs and symptoms of Hodgkin disease.
There are different types of Hodgkin disease. Your diagnosis depends on the cell sorts of your disease and your behaviour. the sort of lymphoma you’re diagnosed with will determine your treatment options.
Symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma
The most common symptom of HL may be a lump within the neck, under the arm, or within the groin, which is an enlarged lymph gland. it always doesn’t hurt, but it is often painful after drinking alcohol. The lump may get bigger over time, or new lumps may appear near it or on other parts of the body.
Still, HL isn’t the foremost common explanation for swollen lymph nodes. Very large lymph nodes, especially in children, are caused by an infection. Lymph nodes that grow thanks to infection are called reactive or hyperplastic nodes. These often hurt when touched. However, if it’s the explanation for the infection, the node should return to its normal size once the infection is gone.
Other cancers also cause swollen lymph nodes. If you’ve got an enlarged lymph gland, especially if you do not have a recent infection, it is a good idea to ascertain a doctor so that they can find the cause and treat it if necessary.
- Age: Hodgkin lymphoma occurs most often in people between the ages of 20 and 55.
- Gender: More men than women get Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Family history: If you have a brother or sister with Hodgkin lymphoma, you are at higher risk. Having the same pair with Hodgkin lymphoma also increases your risk. But most people with this type of cancer have no family history.
- Where you live: Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in the US, Canada, and Europe. It is very common in Africa and Asia.
- Socioeconomic status: People from wealthier families have a higher risk of Hodgkin lymphoma than those from less affluent families. Doctors don’t know why.
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection: The virus that causes mononucleosis is EBV, also known as mono. People with EBV have a slightly higher risk of Hodgkin lymphoma. But most people are infected with EBV, and some of them develop Hodgkin disease.
- HIV infection: The virus that causes HIV AIDS. People living with HIV are at increased risk for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Ask if there is anything you can do to reduce your risk. Many of the known risk factors for Hodgkin’s disease cannot be changed. These include your age, gender, and family history. Nor is it possible to prevent EBV infection. There are things you can do to reduce your risk of HIV infection. But HIV does not affect most cases of Hodgkin lymphoma.
There are no routine screening tests for Hodgkin disease in asymptomatic people. But you need to know the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma. This is even more important if you know the risk factors, such as a strong family history. If you have symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes that do not go away after a few weeks, see your healthcare provider.
Diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma
Your doctor will ask you about your personal and family medical record. He or she may then have you ever undergo tests and procedures wont to diagnose Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including:
- Blood tests: A sample of your blood is examined during a lab to ascertain if anything in your blood indicates the likelihood of cancer.
- Imaging tests: Your doctor may recommend imaging tests to seem for signs of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in other areas of your body.
- Removing a lymph gland for testing: He or she is going to diagnose classical Hodgkin disease if abnormal cells called Reed-Sternberg cells are found within the lymph gland.
- Removing a sample of bone marrow for testing: A bone marrow biopsy and aspiration procedure involves inserting a needle into your hipbone to get rid of a sample of bone marrow. The sample is analyzed to seem for Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells.
Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma
Hodgkin lymphoma can usually be successfully treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The main treatments for Hodgkin disease are only chemotherapy or radiation therapy after chemotherapy. In some cases, chemotherapy can be combined with steroid drugs.
Surgery is not commonly used to diagnose this condition, except for the biopsy that is used to diagnose it. In general, treatment for Hodgkin disease is very effective, and most people with this condition will heal over time.
Even many factors that increase the risk of Hodgkin lymphomas, such as family history or race, are not prevented. However, since lymphoma begins in the lymphatic system, factors that weaken the immune system play a role in the development of lymphoma. To maintain a strong immune system:
- Quitting Smoking: For smokers, it takes longer for the body to fight infections and heal wounds. Quitting smoking is an important step in preventing Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your body begins to heal. Talk to your doctor about the options available to help you succeed.
- Manage exposures: general exposures to pesticides and formaldehyde. Follow the instructions carefully and avoid direct contact. This can include wearing a mask, gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Using adequate ventilation can also help reduce your exposure.
Departments to consult for this condition
- Department of oncology