Understanding Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer

Hodgkins lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. It is also known as HL and Hodgkin disease. The cancer is named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin who discovered it in 1832. How is it different from Non-Hodgkins lymphoma? Lymphatic tissues affected by Hodgkins contain a specific B cell called Reed-Sternberg cell. This specific B immune cell is not found in Non Hodgkins. Are the signs the same? General signs and symptoms of lymphoma are similar for both types.

It attacks groups of lymph nodes in one area of the body especially in the lymph nodes located in your neck. When Hodgkin spreads, it metastasizes to other lymphatic tissues found usually in your spleen, liver, bone marrow and other organs.

Hodgkin lymphoma cancer cases are few compared and not as life-threatening compared to Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Non Hodgkins is complicated and has many types such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Related Article: B Cell Lymphoma Prognosis

According to the National Cancer Institute, the estimated new Hodgkin cases in the United States are almost 9,000 and deaths are more than a thousand for 2009. In the United Kingdom, almost 1,500 persons are diagnosed with Hodgkins disease annually.

What are the 2 major types of Hodgkins lymphoma cancer?

1. Classical Hodgkin and

2. Nodular Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin

People who are most affected by Hodgkin are those between the ages of 15 to 40 and 50 to 70.

What are the 6 known causes of Hodgkins Lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma cancer is believed to be triggered by the following . . .

1. Poor Immune System

An unhealthy immune system significantly increases your risk for Hodgkins. Individuals who have had HIV infection or are diagnosed with AIDS are at a much greater risk because they have poor immune systems.

Those who underwent organ transplant also face an increased risk for Hodgkin because transplants require them to take medicines that can suppress immune functions.

Prevention of Hodgkin lymphoma and even other types of cancer always starts with a healthy immune system.

Related Articles on Prevention:

Guidelines on Healthy Eating and Diet for Cancer Prevention
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2. Family History

Having a sibling who has Hodgkin lymphoma places you at a higher risk for HL cancer but this reason is believed to be due to similar environment than to genetics.

3. Geography

Where you live affects your risk. Hodgkin disease is found to be most common in Canada, Northern Europe and the United States.

4. Gender

Being male makes you more susceptible to HL cancer. Your gender also affects your prognosis or chances of survival.

See info on Hodgkins and Non Hodgkins Lymphoma Prognosis.

5. Socioeconomic Status

Although cancer doesn’t discriminate, Hodgkin is surprisingly more common among the rich or affluent.

6. Epstein Barr Virus-related Illness

Being diagnosed with a disease caused by Epstein Barr Virus or EBV such as live infectious mononucleosis places you at a higher risk for Hodgkins.

EBV is one of the many types of human viruses known to lead to tumors. But there are steps on prevention against EBV and the other viruses that cause cancer. See Prevention Against Human Viruses.

How do you know you have Hodgkin lymphoma?

The first signs for both Hodgkin and Non Hodgkin lymphomas are swelling and enlargement of your lymph nodes. Once the lymphoma progresses, it exhibits other signs and symptoms. It also compromises your body’s ability to fight foreign invaders and infection.

Although lymphoma prognosis and survival for the early stages looks good, a piece of bad news is reported in the July 1, 2009 issue of the Journal of NCI. According to the report, “Survivors of Hodgkins who were treated with radiation therapy are facing an increased risk of a stroke later in life.”

Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy or combination of both are standard treatments for Non Hodgkins and Hodgkins lymphoma.

Return from Hodgkins Disease to What Is Lymphoma?

Return from Hodgkins Cancer to Prevention Home

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