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A Guide to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for Patients and Their Loved Ones

Guide to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for Patients

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, though relatively rare, is a significant concern for individuals and their loved ones. According to a recent study, India reported a total of 11,230 newly-diagnosed cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2020 with a high mortality rate.

This form of cancer affects the lymphatic system, specifically the lymph nodes, and is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells.

While the exact cause of Hodgkin’s lymphoma remains unknown, understanding its symptoms, available treatments, and survival rates is crucial when it comes to battling this disease.

In this guide, we will provide you with comprehensive information to help you better understand and manage Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. It’s identified by the presence of a type called the Reed-Sternberg cell.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is of two types — classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Patients diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma may experience symptoms including painless, swollen lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, fever, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and sweating at night.

Causes of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The exact causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are unknown. Medical researchers have noticed alterations in the DNA of infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes among patients with this cancer.

The DNA modifications instruct the cells to grow fast and to live when other cells would normally perish. Many healthy immune system cells are drawn to lymphoma cells in order to protect and expand them. The excess cells clog the lymph nodes, causing swelling and other Hodgkin’s disease symptoms.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms

The symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma can vary from person to person. Some common signs to watch out for are as follows:

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes (neck, armpits, or groin)
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe itching sensation
  • Pain in the lymph nodes post drinking alcohol
  • Night sweats, itching, and recurrent fevers. 

It’s important to note that these symptoms can be a result of other conditions as well, so it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis

If your doctor suspects Hodgkin’s lymphoma based on your symptoms and physical examination, they will perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis. 

These tests may require blood tests, imaging studies like CT or PET scans, and a lymph node biopsy.

Also Read : 7 Strategies for Cancer Prevention

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment

Fortunately, Hodgkin’s lymphoma survival rate has increased over the years thanks to advanced treatment options.

The primary Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or in some cases, stem cell transplantation

Your healthcare team will develop an individualized treatment plan that best suits your situation.

Also Read : Cancer Treatment Cost in India: What You Need To Know

Post-Treatment Care Managing Side Effects

While undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, you may experience side effects. These can vary depending on the type of treatment received.

Common side effects may include hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and a weakened immune system.

It’s important to communicate openly with your healthcare team about any side effects you may be experiencing, as they can provide guidance and support to manage them effectively.

Monitoring and Follow-up

After completing the initial treatment, regular follow-ups will be required to monitor your progress and detect any potential recurrence of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

These appointments may include physical exams, blood tests, and imaging scans. 

It’s crucial to attend these follow-up visits as they play a crucial role in ensuring the ongoing management of your condition.

Support for Patients and Loved Ones

Dealing with a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be emotionally challenging not only for the patient but also for their loved ones.

Joining support groups, attending counselling sessions, and educating yourself about the disease can provide the necessary tools to cope with the journey ahead.

Ayu Health: Your Partner in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Care and Support

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a complex condition that requires detailed understanding and management. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, remember that Ayu Health is here to provide comprehensive care and support. 

With our state-of-the-art facilities and a seasoned team of oncologists, Ayu Health can offer the expertise and personalized treatment plans necessary for managing Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

Contact Ayu Health at +91 6366-100-800 to book a consultation or visit our website for more information.

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About the Author

Dr. Shivakumar Uppala
Dr. Shivakumar Uppala
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCH - Surgical Oncology at AyuHealth | Website | + posts

Dr. Shivakumar Uppala is renowned as one of the best Cancer Specialist Doctors in the country, has performed more than 500 surgeries till now, and is an experienced surgical oncologist as well as a consultant. He is practicing at Ayu Health, Bangalore.  He is a specialist in Surgical Oncology and MS - General Surgery Laparoscopic Surgeon.

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