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Hodgkin’s Disease

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Hodgkin’s Disease

Cancers arising from the lymph nodes or other sites of lymphoid tissue are broadly termed lymphomas. This group of diseases is divided into Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In both conditions, there is a replacement of normal lymphatic tissue by collections of abnormal lymphoma cells.

The lymphatic system are a complex network of specialised cells and organs that defend the body against infection. Lymphatic organs include the bone marrow, spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, tonsils, adenoids, appendix and clumps of tissue in the small bowel. A function of the lymphatic system is to nurture and mature the B and T-lymphocytes (white blood cells vital to immune function). Cancerous changes can take place when mutation leads to failure of the cells maturing of the lymphoid cells.

Lymphomas are regarded as cancers of lymphocytes. The process which lymphoma occurs consists of a series of events where normal lymphocyte cells cease to mature and develop in an orderly fashion. The genetic make-up of the lymphocyte is altered, resulting in the formation of altered lymph tissue (tumours) or altered lymphocyte secretions. Typically, patients present with a painless swelling of lymph node, with or without fever and night sweats and weight loss.

How Hodgkin’s Is Caused.

The exact cause of Hodgkins disease isn’t known. However, different of how it is caused.

1. Viruses

The Epstein-Barr virus is a herpes virus that causes infectious mononucleosis (also known as glandular fever). Epstein-Barr virus genes have been identified in tissue samples of approximately 20-50% of individuals with Hodgkin’s disease. However, it is yet to be established whether the Epstein-Barr virus can cause Hodgkin’s disease. The most of people who develop glandular fever will not develop Hodgkin’s disease.

2. Genetics

Hodgkin’s disease is associated with a number of rare immune disorders. Chronic inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematous have also been associated with Hodgkin’s disease. Further, the recipients of heart, kidney and other organ transplant have been found to be at an increased risk of developing the illness.

There is some evidence suggesting that first degree relatives of individuals with Hodgkin’s disease is at a small, but increased risk of developing the disease. However, Hodgkin’...

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... the most promising prognosis. It is more common in males and often occurs in the younger age group. Patients usually present with stage 1 or 2 disease and rarely suffer from B-type symptoms.

 Nodular Sclerosis

This group accounts for approximately 50% of all cases and is associated with a good prognosis. It is more common in females and regularly occurs in the 15-35 year age group. Patients usually present with stage 1 or 2 disease and rarely suffer from B-type symptoms.

 Mixed Cellularity

This group accounts for approximately 40% of all cases. It is associated with an intermediate prognosis. It is more common in males and is seen in the 30-40 year age group. Patients often present with stage 3 or 4 disease, the majority of which suffer from B-type symptoms. Disease is frequently found to have spread throughout the abdomen.

 Lymphocyte Depleted

This group accounts for approximately 5% of all cases. It is associated with the worse prognosis. It is most commonly seen in elderly males. Patients typically present with advanced staged disease and B-type symptoms. Lymphocyte depleted Hodgkin’s disease closely resembles non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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