Hodgkin Lymphoma • Symptoms & Chances of Cure

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer of the lymph glands. Lymphoid tissue is affected by malignant cancer. How often and at what age does it occur, what are the causes, what are the symptoms, how is diagnosis and treatment carried out and what is the prognosis for lymphatic cancer?

Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) is the most common lymphoma disease in children and adolescents. It rarely occurs before the age of three. 180 children and adolescents under 18 years of age in Germany are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma every year. The maximum age is 15 years, making it the most common type of cancer in young people between 15 and 20 years of age. Boys are more often affected than girls.

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What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma is a malignant (malignant) cancer that affects lymphoid tissue. It is often meant when lymph gland cancer is mentioned. Lymphatic tissue includes the lymph nodes, the spleen, the liver and the bone marrow. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, certain white blood cells (T lymphocytes) degenerate. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the malignant forms of lymph gland cancer, which also includes non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. The spread of Hodgkin’s disease in the body is divided into four stages. There are also various subtypes of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s disease

In 90 percent of the cases of Hodgkin lymphoma, it begins gradually with a painless swelling of a lymph node over weeks to months. Therefore, swelling of the lymph nodes that lasts longer than two to four weeks should definitely be clarified by a doctor.

The other symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma can vary widely and are in part dependent on the location of the affected tissues that exert pressure on organs:

Causes and Risk Factors for Hodgkin Lymphone

The causes of Hodgkin’s disease are unclear. However, Hodgkin’s lymphoma mostly occurs in white people.

In addition, children with certain immune diseases such as Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Louis Bar syndrome (Ataxia teleangiectatica) or HIV infection have an increased risk of this lymph node cancer. People with certain autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease or Sjogren’s syndrome are also at a slightly increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma. There is no familial accumulation.

The Epstein-Barr virus, which causes Pfeiffer’s glandular fever, also seems to be related to Hodgkin’s disease. Furthermore, certain environmental toxins such as pesticides are suspected to play a role as a cause.

Diagnose des Hodgkin-Lymphoms

If Hodgkin’s lymphoma is suspected, the doctor treating you may do the following:

If the suspicion of Hodgkin’s disease is confirmed, the person concerned is referred to a clinic that specializes in blood diseases and cancer in children and adolescents. In order to make the diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma, a tissue examination (biopsy) of the relevant lymph node is necessary. If Hodgkin’s disease is actually present after the evaluation, further examinations are carried out to determine the spread of the lymphatic cancer. This includes:

  • imaging tests such as MRI and / or CT
  • Skelettszintigraphie
  • Bone marrow punch biopsy

Before starting therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma, additional tests such as an EKG and a blood count are required.

Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma

Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma varies from person to person and depends, among other things, on the extent and shape. Affected children and adolescents have to go to a special clinic for cancer in children (pediatric oncology) for therapy; adults are treated in a specialized hematology department.

A central component of the treatment is chemotherapy with various cytostatics to slow down cell growth. Chemotherapy can only be dispensed with in rare cases in certain subtypes and if only a single lymph node is affected by Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which can be surgically removed. A stem cell transplant may be necessary after treatment.

In certain cases, chemotherapy is followed by radiation therapy.

Prognosis and life expectancy for Hodgkin’s disease

The prognosis for Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends primarily on whether it is an initial illness or a recurrence (relapse). Overall, however, the chances of recovery are good.

In the case of a first-time illness with Hodgkin’s disease, the prognosis is very good thanks to modern therapies, more than nine out of ten sufferers can be completely cured. This good prognosis is independent of the stage of the disease.

Hodgkin lymphoma recurs in around eleven percent of children and adolescents. If the relapse occurs more than a year after the initial illness, the chances of recovery are also very good and the 10-year survival rate is 90 percent. Only if Hodgkin’s lymphoma recurs within the first year after completing treatment for the initial disease are the chances of recovery slightly worse. The 10-year survival rate is then between 50 and 75 percent.

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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.

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