HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA (aka: Hodgkin’s Disease) is a type of lymphoma (cancer) that involves lymphocytes. This is another disease that has afflicted a few tennis players.
WBC (white blood cells) also called leukocytes, are placed into two broad categories
1. B cells
2. T cells
3. Natural killer cells
THREE IMPORTANT TRAITS OF HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA (HL)
- Specific to HL is the presence histologically of Reed-Sternberg (RS) cells
- It spreads almost always contiguously
- Finally it almost never has a leukemic component
THERE ARE TWO MAIN CATEGORIES OF HODGKIN’S LYMPHOMA
- Nodular Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NLPHL)
- Classic Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Nodular Sclerosing (most common)
- Mixed Cellularity (second common)
- Lymphocytic predominance
- Lymphocytic depletion (most ominous)
SYMPTOMS are painless enlargement of a single or group of lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, pruritus, anemia, persistent fatigue and significant weight loss.
DIAGNOSIS is made by patient’s symptoms, physical examination, blood work, imaging tests, surgical biopsy of lymph node and bone marrow biopsy.
PROGNOSIS is based on the stage (I-IV) of the disease, which in turn is defined by the number of lymph node regions or extra-lymphatic organ/tissue that is involved; the presence of certain symptoms; and involvement of the spleen.
TREATMENT is usually with chemotherapy and/or radiation. There are also new treatment options in clinical trial that involve using hematopoietic stem cell transplant and monoclonal antibodies, to name a few.