by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph system. The lymph system is a series of tubes and nodes that run through the body. It contains a fluid that helps fight infections and moves waste out of the body.
The cancer starts in a type of lymph cell called a lymphocyte. These cells spread throughout the lymph system. Eventually, the cells will make it harder for the body to fight infections. It is considered a treatable form of cancer.
The exact cause is not known. A combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role.
Hodgkin is more likely to occur in males and people between the ages of 15-40 years, or over 55 years. Other factors that may increase the chance of Hodgkin lymphoma include:
Hodgkin lymphoma may cause:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your child's lymph nodes will be examined.
Your child's body fluilds and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may be taken of your child's body structures. This can be done with:
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease. The stage is determined by how far the cancer has spread and what organs are affected.
The healthcare team will work to make a treatment plan for your child. Treatment options may include:
Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells. With radiation therapy, radiation is directed at a specific area to kill the cancer cells. In many cases, both chemotherapy and radiation are used.
Surgery is not often used for Hodgkin lymphoma. It may be effective if the cancer is isolated to just one lymph node. Surgery will remove the affected lymph node.
Treatment and the cancer itself can damage blood and lymph cells. Transplantation will help the body rebuild these cells after treatment. Transplant options may include:
There are no current guidelines to prevent Hodgkin lymphoma because it is not known what causes it.
American Cancer Society
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Lymphoma Foundation Canada
Hodgkin lymphoma. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society website. Available at: https://www.lls.org/lymphoma/hodgkin-lymphoma. Accessed March 20, 2018.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114957/Hodgkin-lymphoma-HL . Updated November 22, 2016. Accessed March 20, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 3/3/2014
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