Friday, September 27, 2019

Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin disease): 25 FAQs

What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin disease)?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease is caused by a mutation in the DNA of B lymphocytes. Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system and it was first discovered by Thomas Hodgkin’s in 1832.

The DNA gives the cells instructions to grow and reproduce. The mutation in the DNA changes these instructions so the cells keep growing, causing them to multiply in an unchecked way. Mostly, the abnormal lymphocytes develop in a single lymph node then they spread to the rest of the body such as bone marrow, liver & spleen, lungs, and skin.

(2) What are the symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
The symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma change with the advancement of the disease. At the first stage, you may feel a lump on the affected lymph node that does not hurt when touched. In the later stages of the disease, the person may feel very tired.

Signs and symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

Signs and symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be the following:
  • Fever
  • Increased pain in the swollen lymph nodes after drinking alcohol
  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Severe itching
  • Unexplained weight loss

(3) Is Hodgkin’s lymphoma painful?

What do Hodgkin’s lymphoma lumps feel like?
The most common symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) is a lump in the neck, armpit, or in the groin. It doesn't usually hurt, but it may become sensitive and painful after drinking alcohol. The lump may increase in size with time or new lumps may appear in the surrounding areas.

(4) How long can you live after Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

What is the 5-Year Survival rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

The 5-year relative survival of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma was 87.7%.
The 5-year relative survival of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma was 90.5% for patients with age less than 65.
The 5-year relative survival of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma was 52.8% for patients with age greater than 65.

(Note: These estimated values of survival rates were measured from 2004-2010)

(5) What factors affect the survival rates of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
The survival rates of Hodgkin’s lymphoma/Hodgkin’s disease depend on the following factors:
  • Survival is highest for people diagnosed aged below 40 years old
  • Hodgkin lymphoma survival is higher in women than men
  • Location of lymphoma in your body
  • Level of your fitness
  • Previous treatment
  • Stage of the lymphoma at diagnosis
  • Type of cancer

(6) What does Hodgkin’s lymphoma rash look like?
Rashes that occur with T-cell and B-cell skin lymphomas may resemble psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis.  Small patches of dry, red skin might appear on the torso, buttocks or other parts of the body.

(7) What does Hodgkin’s itch feel like?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma can produce itching. The main symptom of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is painless swelling in lymph nodes. Many people may experience fever, night sweats and fatigue. Itching may usually occur without any obvious skin rash.

(8) How does Hodgkin’s lymphoma start?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma starts in lymph nodes however it may be anywhere in the body. Hodgkin’s lymphoma spreads through the lymph vessels from lymph node to lymph node. The most common sites are in the chest, neck, or armpits.

(9) How serious is Hodgkin’s lymphoma? How bad is Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
If diagnosed in early stages, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is curable. Even in stage 4, many people can beat this cancer. For people with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the survival rate is however lower. The one-year survival rate for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is about 92%.

(10) Can a person die from Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
(1) When this disease spreads to bone marrow, it may cause death. As new blood cells are not born in affected bone marrow.
(2) Severe damage to bone marrow may lead to a condition known as neutropenia. In this disease, shortage of white blood cells gives rise to many infections.
(3) Cancer which spreads to bone marrow may cause the patients to die mainly of chest infection.

(11) Do you lose your hair with Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Chemotherapy attacks the cells that divide rapidly. Hair cells divide faster than other cells so they are attacked by chemotherapy so hair loss is usually associated with chemotherapy. It can therefore affect your scalp as well as your eyebrows, eyelashes, and body.

(12) How long can you have Hodgkin’s lymphoma without knowing?
Low Grade Lymphomas grow slowly that patients can live for many years mostly without the appearance of any symptoms. After 5 to 10 years, low-grade disorders begin to progress rapidly to become aggressive thus produce more severe symptoms.

(13) Can stress cause Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
There is no such evidence that stress can cause Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Hodgkin's lymphoma


(14) Which is more treatable Hodgkin’s or non Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is considered one of the most treatable cancers, with 90% survival rate if diagnosed in early stages. It means that 90% patients can live for more than five years after the diagnosis.

(15) How does Hodgkin’s lymphoma affect the body?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma — formerly known as Hodgkin disease causes the swelling of lymph nodes. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and also spread (metastasize) to other organs and tissue.
Lymphatic system is the part of immune system. Hodgkin’s lymphoma makes the immune system weak and thus less able to fight infection. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common in people between 20 and 40 years old and those over 55.

(16) Is Hodgkin’s disease the same as Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
HD is also called Hodgkin’s disease or Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hodgkins disease is a type of lymphoma, which is a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps the immune system in fighting infections.

(17) What is Hodgkin’s lymphoma stage 4?
When cancer spreads to distant parts of the body outside of the lymphatic system, such as the spinal cord, lungs, or liver then this condition is called Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Survival rates usually decrease when cancers advances to such a stage.

(18) What is the stage wise survival rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Survival Rates of Hodgkin’s lymphoma With the Stage of Disease:
The survival rate of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma varies with the stage of the disease.

  • All stages Hodgkin’s lymphoma:     85.3%
  • Localized Hodgkin’s lymphoma:     90.8 %
  • Regional Hodgkin’s lymphoma:      92.1%
  • Distant Hodgkin’s lymphoma:         76.2%
  • Un-staged Hodgkin’s lymphoma:    80.7%

(19) What are the survival rates of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma Stage 1 and stage 2 Survival rate:
In stage 1 and 2, more than 90% people survive for 5 years or more after the diagnosis in such early stages.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma Stage 3 and stage 4 Survival rate:
Between 75 and 90 out of 100 people will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed in stage 3 and stage 4.

The survival of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma also varies with the subtype of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

  • Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma: 95.3%
  • Nodular sclerosis: 89.4%
  • Lymphocyte-rich: 87.1%
  • Classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma: 84.8%
  • Mixed cellularity: 80%
  • Classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma not otherwise specified: 75.2%
  • Lymphocyte-depleted: 56.6%

(20) What is the difference between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma?
Both Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are types of lymphomas.
The main difference between them is in the specific lymphocyte each involves. Burkitt’s lymphoma is a highly aggressive subtype of B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

(21) Is Hodgkin’s lymphoma aggressive?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a relatively aggressive cancer. It can quickly spread through the human body still Hodgkin’s lymphoma has survival rates of 90%. It is one of the most curable types of cancer.

(22) What are the risk factors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
  1. The cause of the DNA mutation that triggers Hodgkin’s lymphoma is unknown however a number of factors can increase your risk of developing the disease. There are they:
  2. Risk factors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
  3. Alcohol may increase the risks of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  4. HIV medications or immunosuppressants increase the risks
  5. Weak immune system is more prone to lymphoma
  6. Epstein-Barr virus that causes glandular fever may also be a risk factor
  7. Previous history of non-hodgkin’s lymphoma
  8. Obesity may also increase its risks
  9. The condition is slightly more common in men than women.
  10. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most often diagnosed in people between 15 and 30 years old and those over 55.

(23) How long is chemo for Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
Chemotherapy alone may comprise usually for 4 or 6 cycles in selected patients.
Chemotherapy is also followed by radiation to the initial site of the disease (ISRT or involved site radiation therapy).

(24) How is Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed?
Can blood test detect Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
In physical exam, doctor checks for swollen lymph nodes, including in your neck, underarm and groin. Blood tests cannot detect Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Blood tests for the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include a CBC and an analysis of the different types of white blood cells. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or "sed rate") and liver and kidney function tests may also be recommended.

(25) How many cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are reported each year?
About 8,000 new cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treatable, especially if diagnosed in its early stages. But if the Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer advances then treatment becomes too difficult.



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