Hodgkin's Disease: Introduction
Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma, a general name for a group of cancers of the blood that originate in the lymph glands. The lymph glands are organs of the immune system and are a part of the body's defense against infection and disease. Lymph glands are located throughout the body.
Hodgkin's disease, also called Hodgkin lymphoma, is the result of change or mutation in infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are stored in the lymph glands. This change results in an uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, which develop into malignant tumors in the lymph glands. Hodgkin's disease can also develop in other parts of the lymphatic system, such as the spleen or bone marrow.
The cause of Hodgkin's disease is unknown. However, in some cases Hodgkin's disease develops in people who have weakened immune systems due to HIV. People at risk for developing Hodgkin's disease include those who have had mononucleosis or have been infected with the human T-cell lymphocytotropic virus (HTLV). There may also be a familial connection to developing Hodgkin's disease.
Hodgkin's disease is most common in young adults and people over 60 years of age. Overall, Hodgkin's disease is less common, but is easier to treat and cure than some more aggressive forms of lymphoma, specifically non-Hodgkin's Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's disease is highly treatable and one of the most curable types of cancer if caught in the earliest stages of the disease.
Untreated and/or advanced Hodgkin's disease results in a proliferation of abnormal white blood cells (lymphocytes) that spread throughout the lymphatic system. The abnormal white blood cells are not able to fight infections as effectively as the normal white blood cells. This results in increased infections.
The abnormal white blood cells formed in Hodgkin's disease can also metastasize in other areas of the body, such as the lungs, breasts, spleen, liver, spleen and gastrointestinal system, develop into malignant tumors and interfere with normal organ functioning.
Persistently swollen lymph glands are typical of Hodgkin's disease. For more details on other key symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of Hodgkin's disease.
Diagnosing Hodgkin's disease begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms and risk factors for Hodgkin's disease, such as a history of HIV or mononucleosis. Diagnosis also includes completing a physical examination.
Diagnostic testing includes a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). A complete blood count will reveal the presence of high or low numbers of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. A biopsy of the swollen lymph node is also performed. In a biopsy, an affected lymph node is removed and is examined under a microscope for the presence of the abnormal Hodgkin's disease cells. A bone marrow biopsy may also be done to determine if the bone marrow has been affected.
Staging of Hodgkin's disease is the process in which it is determined how advanced the disease is and how many areas of the body are affected. Imaging tests are generally used to help in staging. Imaging tests may include X-ray, CT scan, MRI, gallium scan or PET scan.
A diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease can be missed or delayed because some symptoms of Hodgkin's disease are similar to symptoms of other conditions. In addition, some people may not notice symptoms in early stages of some forms of Hodgkin's disease. For more information about other diseases, disorders and conditions that can mimic Hodgkin's disease, refer to misdiagnosis of Hodgkin's disease.
The prognosis for people with Hodgkin's disease varies depending on how advanced the disease is and other factors. Hodgkin's disease is often curable. When it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, it has an extremely high cure rate.
Treatment of Hodgkin's disease varies, depending on the stage of advancement, the patient's age, health history, overall health status, and other factors. Treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and participation in clinical trials. For more details about treatment plans, refer to treatment of Hodgkin's disease. ...more »
Hodgkin's disease is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas .
Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in ... more about Hodgkin's Disease.
Hodgkin's Disease: A form of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Hodgkin's Disease is available below.
Hodgkin's Disease: Symptoms
Symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can vary among individuals and differ depending on the stage of advancement of the disease.
Symptoms include a swollen lymph gland or glands, (lymphadenopathy), which often appear fist in the neck, groin, or armpit. The swollen glands can also appear in other areas of the body.
Other symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can include malaise, loss of appetite, ...more symptoms »
Hodgkin's Disease: Treatments
The best way to diagnose and treat Hodgkin's disease in its early stage when it is most treatable is to seek regular medical care throughout the lifetime. Regular medical care allows a health care professional to best evaluate the risks of developing Hodgkin's disease and assess symptoms, such as a swollen lymph gland, and begin prompt diagnostic testing and treatment. ...more treatments »
Hodgkin's Disease: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of Hodgkin's disease can be delayed or missed because some people may notice early symptoms and seek a prompt diagnosis. In addition, some symptoms of Hodgkin's disease can be vague and similar to symptoms of other diseases, conditions and disorders. These include influenza, upper respiratory infection, strep throat, mononucleosis, and leukemia. ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Hodgkin's Disease
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symptoms of Hodgkin's Disease
Treatments for Hodgkin's Disease
- Radiation therapy
- Surgery - note that typical tumor removal surgery is not possible with lymphomas because the "tumor" is not solid, but is dispersed widely through the body. However, some types of "surgery" such as bone marrow transplants are being investigated.
- more treatments...»
See full list of 5
treatments for Hodgkin's Disease
Home Diagnostic Testing
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease?
Hodgkin's Disease: Related Patient Stories
Hodgkin's Disease: Deaths
Read more about Deaths and Hodgkin's Disease.
Diagnostic Tests for Hodgkin's Disease
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diagnostic tests for Hodgkin's Disease
Hodgkin's Disease: Complications
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Causes of Hodgkin's Disease
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Disease Topics Related To Hodgkin's Disease
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Hodgkin's Disease: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Hodgkin's Disease
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Read more about Misdiagnosis and Hodgkin's Disease
Hodgkin's Disease: Research Doctors & Specialists
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Hospitals & Clinics: Hodgkin's Disease
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Choosing the Best Hospital:
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on hospital performance and surgical care quality:
Hodgkin's Disease: Rare Types
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Latest Treatments for Hodgkin's Disease
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latest treatments for Hodgkin's Disease
Evidence Based Medicine Research for Hodgkin's Disease
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Hodgkin's Disease: Animations
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Prognosis for Hodgkin's Disease
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Research about Hodgkin's Disease
Visit our research pages for current research about Hodgkin's Disease treatments.
Clinical Trials for Hodgkin's Disease
The US based website ClinicalTrials.gov lists information on both federally
and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.
Some of the clinical trials listed on ClinicalTrials.gov for Hodgkin's Disease include:
- Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Hodgkin's Disease - This study is no longer recruiting patients (Current: 23 Nov 2006) - bleomycin,dacarbazine,doxorubicin,vinblastine
- Combination Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy in Treating Children With Previously Untreated Stage II, Stage III, or Stage IV Hodgkin's Disease - This study is no longer recruiting patients (Current: 23 Nov 2006) - bleomycin,cyclophosphamide,dacarbazine,doxorubicin,etoposide,filgrastim,prednisone,procarbazine,vinblastine,vincristine
- Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Hodgkin's Disease and HIV Infection - This study is no longer recruiting patients (Current: 23 Nov 2006) - bleomycin,doxorubicin,epirubicin,etoposide,filgrastim,mechlorethamine,prednisone,vinblastine,vincristine
- Combination Chemotherapy With or Without Dexrazoxane in Treating Children With Hodgkin's Disease - This study has been completed (Current: 23 Nov 2006) - bleomycin,cyclophosphamide,dexrazoxane,doxorubicin,etoposide,filgrastim,prednisone,vincristine
- Combination Chemotherapy in Treating Patients With Advanced Hodgkin's Disease - This study is no longer recruiting patients (Current: 23 Nov 2006) - bleomycin,chlorambucil,dacarbazine,doxorubicin,etoposide,prednisolone,procarbazine,vinblastine,vincristine
- more trials...»
See full list of 429
Clinical Trials for Hodgkin's Disease
Statistics for Hodgkin's Disease
Hodgkin's Disease: Broader Related Topics
Types of Hodgkin's Disease
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Article Excerpts about Hodgkin's Disease
Hodgkin's disease is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas .
Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the
system . Hodgkin's disease, an uncommon lymphoma,
accounts for less than 1 percent of all cases of cancer in
this country. Other cancers of the lymphatic system are called
non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. (Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Hodgkin's Disease: NCI)
Definitions of Hodgkin's Disease:
A lymphoma, previously known as Hodgkin's disease, characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells. There are two distinct subtypes: nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin's lymphoma and classical Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin's lymphoma has a bimodal age distribution, and involves primarily lymph nodes. Current therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma has resulted in an excellent outcome and cure for the majority of patients. -- 2003
- (Source - Diseases Database)
A malignant disorder in which there is progressive (but painless) enlargement of lymph tissue followed by enlargement of the spleen and liver
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
Hodgkin's Disease is listed as a "rare disease" by the Office of
Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health
(NIH). This means that Hodgkin's Disease, or a subtype of Hodgkin's Disease,
affects less than 200,000 people in the US population.
Source - National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Ophanet, a consortium of European partners,
currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000.
They list Hodgkin's Disease as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet
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