Hodgkin’s disease (HD) is a type of lymphoma, which is a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps the immune system get rid of waste and fight infections. HD originates in white blood cells that help protect you from germs and infections. These white blood cells are called lymphocytes. In people with HD, these cells grow abnormally and spread beyond the lymphatic system. As the disease progresses, it makes it more difficult for the body to fight infections.
HOW IS HODGKIN LYMPHOMA DIAGNOSED?
Oncologists may examine the swollen lymph nodes and evaluate your symptoms. Blood tests may reveal the presence of cancerous cells. Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scan and PET scan help confirm diagnosis. Bone marrow testing helps check for signs of cancer.
HOW IS HODGKIN LYMPHOMA TREATED?
Treatment for HD typically depends on the stage of the disease. The main treatment options are chemotherapy and radiation. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy involves the use of medications that can kill cancer cells. A stem cell transplant may also be used in certain cases.
DID YOU KNOW?
Treatments for HD can have long-term side effects and can increase risk of developing other serious medical conditions. Radiation to the chest can increase risk of:
• Breast cancer
• Lung cancer
• Heart disease
• High cholesterol