Hodgkin’s Disease-Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, Diagnosis

Hodgkin’s disease is also referred to as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As the name suggest, it is a kind of lymphoma which is nothing but a cancer developing from WBC or white blood cell known as lymphocytes. It derived its name from Thomas Hodgkin who was the first to introduce abnormalities related to lymph systems in the year 1832.

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Hodgkin’s disease is characterized by sequential spread of the condition from one lymph node to the other. It is also characterized by systemic symptoms along with advanced disease. Reed- Stemberg cells or RS cells are characterized histopathologically during microscopic examinations of Hodgkin’s cells.

The disease is commonly found in people ranging from age group of 15 to 35 as well as in people over the age of 55 years old, but this does not mean that people from other age group may not be affected by this condition. As most of the patients are young, they often have chances of surviving for over 40 years after adopting treatment. Some studies indicate that people who adopted older techniques lived for as long as 25 years after the treatment.


The first formidable sign of this condition is often associated with enlarged lymph node which occurs without any certain cause. As mentioned above, the disease may also spread to other closer lymph node. If not treated and ceased, the condition may also progressed to body parts such as, liver, bone marrow (inside the bone) and spleen etc. The actual cause of Hodgkin’s disease is not certainly known, but EBV or Epstein-Barr virus is said to be associated in most cases.

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s disease:

Symptoms associated with Hodgkin’s disease may vary from person to person. There are several symptoms recorded in case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some of the common symptoms of the condition may include:

• Fatigue or tiredness

• High fever

• Chills and tremors

• Itching sensations

• Dramatic reductions or loss of appetite

• Excessive night sweats

• Protrusion of lymph nodes in the neck without any pain

• Swelling of lymph node near armpit or groin

• Dramatic reduction in weight

Other possible symptoms of Hodgkin’s disease may include:

• Clubbing of toes or fingers

• Flank ache

• Thinning and loss of hair

• Ache in the neck

• Experiencing the pain in the affective region post consuming alcohol

• Flushes on skin or blushing on skin

• Splenomegaly

Complications associated with Hodgkin’s disease:

Hodgkin’s disease, as mentioned above is a serious condition and may lead to adverse physical abnormalities. The complications caused due to this condition may be extremely severe and concerning. Some of the possible complications associated with the disease are as follows:

• Inability to produce offspring (common referred to as infertility)

• Malfunction or failure of liver

• Acute or chronic issues related to cancer

• Side- effects caused due to treatment techniques such as radiation and chemotherapy

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To your information, chemotherapy can lead to low blood cell count which may in turn augment the chances of infections anaemia as well as bleeding. Applying ice with pressure to the external area of bleeding may help by significantly minimizing the bleeding.

Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s disease:

The disease can be diagnosed with the help of following diagnoses:

• Affected tissue biopsy

• Biopsy of bone marrow

• Biopsy of lymph node

• Determining Reed-Sternberg cells

Other tests included for determining Hodgkin’s conditions are as follows:

• Blood Chemistry evaluation

• Biopsy of bone marrow (Stage wise evaluation)

• Computer Tomography imaging of chest

• Computer Tomography imaging of stomach as well as pelvis

• PET scan tests

• Physical examination

These are few of the diagnosing techniques that may be suggested by your doctor in order to determine the prevalence of Hodgkin’s disease.

Treatments of Hodgkin’s disease:

Hodgkin’s disease can be treated through efficacious treatment techniques such as radiation therapy, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation etc. The choice of treatment is greatly depended on factors such as gender, age, etc, of the patient as well as the doctor may also consider the severity of the disease. It should be understood that radiation treatment and some other chemotherapy medications may bring about the risk of prevalence of secondary cancer and other serious conditions such as lung disease, heart issues etc. On the other hand, contemporary treatment techniques significantly minimize the risks of such secondary diseases. Here are some points that may help you to understand the factors on which the treatment of the condition is depended.

• Treatment is depended on the kind of Hodgkin’s disease (Majority of people suffer from classic Hodgkin’s disease)

• The stage of the disease

• The size of the tumor detected whether it is 10 cms wide or more

• Medical history of the patient

• Age of the patient and current physical state

It is essential to perform staging evaluation of the physical condition in order to understand appropriate treatment technique.

• 1st stage of Hodgkin’s disease demonstrate only one lymph node affected by the condition

• 2nd stage of Hodgkin’s disease involves 2 lymph nodes from the same side of the diaphragm

• 3rd stage of Hodgkin’s disease involves lymph nodes from both side of diaphragm

• In case of 4th stage of the condition, the cancer is progressed to the outside of the lymph node

Stage wise treatment of Hodgkin’s disease:

The treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may also vary according to the stage of the affliction. Since the treatment is depended on various factors, it is wise to discuss the issue with the certified doctor who has prior experience of treating this disease. Hodgkin’s lymphoma during its stage 1 and stage 2 phase can be treated through technique such as chemotherapy or radiation and even in some cases, combination of both. Whereas, Stage 3 and stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma cannot be treated with radiation therapy alone. Hence either chemotherapy or combination of chemotherapy and ration therapy may be suggested to the patient. It should be known that Hodgkin’s disease is a serious physical condition and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect that you or your family member is afflicted with the condition, then it is essential to seek medical advice immediately.

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