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Alternative Names Return to topLymphoma - Hodgkin's; Hodgkin's disease; Cancer - Hodgkin's lymphoma
Definition Return to top
Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites.
Causes Return to top
The first sign of this cancer is often an enlarged lymph node which appears without a known cause. The disease can spread to nearby lymph nodes. Later it may spread to the spleen, liver, bone marrow, or other organs.
The cause is not known. Hodgkin's lymphoma is most common among people ages 15 - 35 and 50 - 70. Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is thought to contribute to most cases.
Symptoms Return to top
Other symptoms that may occur with this disease:
Exams and Tests Return to top
The disease may be diagnosed after:
A staging evaluation (tumor staging) may be done to determine how far the disease has spread. The following procedures may be done:
In some cases, abdominal surgery to take a piece of the liver and remove the spleen may be needed. However, because the other tests are now so good at detecting the spread of Hodgkin's lymphoma, this surgery is usually unnecessary.
Hodgkin's lymphoma may change the results of the following tests:
Treatment Return to top
Treatment primarily depends on the following:
A staging evaluation is necessary to determine the treatment plan.
Treatment varies with the stage of the disease. The best treatment for an individual patient depends on many factors, and should be discussed with a doctor who has experience treating this disease.
Support Groups Return to top
You can often ease the stress of illness by joining a support group of people who share common experiences and problems. See cancer - support group.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
With the right treatment, more than 80% of people with stage I or II Hodgkin's lymphoma survive for at least 10 years. If the disease has spread, the treatment is more intense and the 5-year survival rate is about 60%.
Possible Complications Return to top
Chemotherapy can cause low blood cell counts, which can lead to an increased risk of bleeding, infection, and anemia. To minimize bleeding, apply ice and pressure to any external bleeding. Use a soft toothbrush and electric razor for personal hygiene.
Infection should always be taken seriously during cancer treatment. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop fever or other signs of infection. Planning daily activities with scheduled rest periods may help prevent fatigue associated with anemia.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if:
References Return to top
Connors JM. Hodgkin's lymphoma. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 197.
National Cancer Institute. Adult Hodgkin lymphoma treatment (PDQ). 2009. Accessed February 25, 2009.Update Date: 3/2/2009 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.