Everything You Need to Know about Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


A doctor checks a woman for Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s disease is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which causes abnormal growth of the cells in the lymphatic system. The condition is common in men in the age group of 20 to 40 and those over 55, but it can happen to anyone at any age. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is also common in patients with a family history of lymphoma, either Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Oncology doctors at CCCHC can help you discuss your risk factors for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Common Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The most common symptom is the appearance of swollen lymph nodes in the neck. In most cases, the swollen lymph nodes will be right below the lower jaw. Sometimes, patients with the condition may also have painless swollen lymph nodes in the armpits or groin. Other than that, people also experience fever, night sweating, persistent fatigue, severe itching, breathlessness, sudden weight loss, etc.

Some patients also experience increased sensitivity to the effects of alcohol or pain in the lymph nodes after alcohol consumption. Fortunately, Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be managed effectively with timely diagnosis and proper treatment, giving you a chance of full recovery. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a doctor as soon as you see any swollen lymph nodes on your neck or any other part of your body.

Causes of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The exact cause of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is still unknown but researchers say it occurs due to the genetic mutation of an infection-fighting lymphocyte cell. The mutation leads to the rapid multiplication of the cell, causing even the growth of diseased cells and eventually leading to the accumulation of a large number of oversized, abnormal lymphocytes in the lymphatic system. When they start crowding out healthy cells, the patient experiences the aforementioned symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Note that there can be various types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma based on the type of cells involved. Identifying the type of condition will play a significant role in devising the right treatment plan for the disease. In most cases, people experience classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma, wherein the patient will have huge, abnormal cells in their lymph nodes, known as the Reed-Sternberg cells.

There can be many subtypes of classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well, such as lymphocyte-depleted Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mixed cellularity Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nodular sclerosis Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The latter one is the rarest among all the types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which involves the accumulation of large, abnormal cells known as popcorn cells. It is also seen that people with Epstein-Barr virus infection are more prone to develop Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Are you interested in learning more about Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other medical conditions? Contact Complete Care Community Health Center today.


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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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