Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system that is marked by the presence of a type of cell called the Reed-Sternberg cell. The two major types of Hodgkin lymphoma are classical Hodgkin lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. Symptoms include the painless enlargement of lymph nodes, spleen, or other immune tissue. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue, or night sweats. This is also called Hodgkin's disease.
Because lymphatic tissue is located in many parts of the body, Hodgkin lymphoma can start almost anywhere. Usually, it's first found in a lymph node above the diaphragm, the thin muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. However, Hodgkin lymphoma also may be found in a group of lymph nodes. Sometimes it starts in other parts of the lymphatic system.
Staging of Hodgkin Lymphoma:
The stages of Hodgkin lymphoma are as follows:
Stage I: The lymphoma cells are in one lymph node group (such as in the neck or underarm). Or, if the lymphoma cells are not in the lymph nodes, they are in only one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the lung).
Stage II: The lymphoma cells are in at least two lymph node groups on the same side of (either above or below) the diaphragm. Or, the lymphoma cells are in one part of a tissue or an organ and the lymph nodes near that organ (on the same side of the diaphragm). There may be lymphoma cells in other lymph node groups on the same side of the diaphragm.
Stage III: The lymphoma cells are in lymph nodes above and below the diaphragm. Lymphoma also may be found in one part of a tissue or an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) near these lymph node groups. It may also be found in the spleen.
Stage IV: Lymphoma cells are found in several parts of one or more organs or tissues. Or, the lymphoma is in an organ (such as the liver, lung, or bone) and in distant lymph nodes.
Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma:
Individuals that have Hodgkin lymphoma may be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, a combination of both, or surgery. If Hodgkin lymphoma comes back after treatment, doctors call this a relapse or recurrence. People with Hodgkin lymphoma that comes back after treatment may receive high doses of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both, followed by stem cell transplantation. Clinical trials may be another treatment method for Hodgkin lymphoma.
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Adapted from the National Cancer Institute's PDQ Database: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/hodgkin/page1. (Accessed July 2016)