What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer of the lymphatic system.

Lymphoma occurs when the lymph node cells start to multiply uncontrollably, producing malignant cells that have abnormal ability to invade other tissues throughout the body.

What causes Hodgkin Lymphoma? Who is affected?

The exact cause of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is unknown, but there are various factors that may have an effect:

  • Viruses: The Epstein-Barr virus, the same virus that causes mono, has been implicated as a cause of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The presence of this virus is found in 20%-80% of people that have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  • Familial: Same sex siblings and an identical twin of a person have a greater risk of developing the disease. Also, if a child’s parent has the disease there is an increased risk.
  • Environment: Not being exposed to as many things when you are younger could lead to the disease at an early age.

Hodgkin’s disease is commonly found in two different age groups, young adults ages 15-35 and older adults over the age of 50. It is more common in males and in Caucasians.

What are symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Symptoms and signs of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:

  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe itching
  • Increased sensitivity to effects of alcohol or pain in lymph nodes after drinking alcohol
  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin

How is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma treated?

Treatments for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow Transplant