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Meet Hodgkins Disease

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					Meet Hodgkin's Disease
Most people have certainly been hearing this term, lymphoma, from others.
Some hospital-drama television series usually would have an episode where
a patient is diagnosed with lymphoma and most of us are just left hanging
on what it really is. Suffice it to say that probably, most are aware
that it is a kind of cancer. Cancer in what organ or body part? Caused by
what? Many people fall short of enough knowledge about this type of
cancer. But no worries, they really can't be accused of apathy. Lymphoma
is actually a very rare type of cancer so it is understandable that
awareness on is not as prevalent as to other cancer types.
Lymphoma is considered as a collective term for a variety of cancer. This
cancer type has its origin in the lymphocytes or histiocytes -- very rare
from the latter, though. Lymphoma starts in a B cell in lymph nodes. The
cancerous cells reproduce themselves over and over again. The presence of
these unnecessary cells sets the ground for the formation of cancer. This
is because these cells do not die; they are not needed by the body in the
first place, and they spread to other areas, causing further harm.
There are five clusters of specific cancer types under the umbrella
concept of lymphoma. The World Health Organization grouped these specific
cancer types according to their cell types. The first one is the mature B
neoplasms. Second is mature T cell and natural killer cell (NK)
neoplasms. Third is the immunodeficiency-associated Lymphoproliferative
disorders. Fourth is histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms. Last is
Hodgkin lymphoma or more commonly known as Hodgkin's disease.
The most popular of all is the Hodgkin's disease. It is named after
Thomas Hodgkin, who described the disease in 1832. Hodgkin's diseas e is
characterized by the abnormal growth of cancer cells in the lymphatic
system. Specifically, the Reed-Sternberg cells are the ones involved in
Hodgkin's disease. This disease is very rare that it accounts for only
one percent of the total cancer cases or one for every 400,000, at least
in America.
The most common symptoms of Hodgkin's disease are swollen, painful or
non-painful lymph nodes. The swelling usually occurs at the neck or nape,
armpit, or groin. Some systemic symptoms like drastic weight loss, skin
itching, low-grade fever, night sweats, and fatigue can also be
indicative of a Hodgkin's disease case. Enlargement of the spleen,
splenomegaly, and/or enlargement of the liver can also happen. People
from the age range of 15 to 34, and above 55 are the ones most
susceptible to develop Hodgkin's disease.
Just like the other kinds of cancer, the causes of Hodgkin's disease is
still unknown. But the factor most likely to contribute to the
development of it is genetics. People who have relatives, dist ant or
immediate, have been inflicted with Hodgkin's disease or other types for
that matter, are at a very high risk. A deteriorated or damaged immune
system, from a previous ailment or operation, is also a very high risk
factor. Gender is believed to play a role, too, since most recorded cases
are with men.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the usual treatments for Hodgkin's
disease. Radiation therapy is a high technology option, which makes use
of high-energy rays capable of damaging cancer cells to stop their
growth. This treatment option is administered only in hospitals and
clinics, and under the permission of an expert doctor. Radiation therapy
is effective for treating cases still on the early stage. A frequency of
five therapy sessions in every week for several months is the average
treatment period using radiation therapy. Chemotherapy, on the other
hand, involves the use of drugs to kill the cancer cells. A combination
of different drugs, which can work together, is the usual procedure being
given by doctors when using chemotherapy. The drugs can be taken orally,
or injected into arteries or even muscles for faster travel inside the
body. The most popular drug combination for chemotherapy is the
adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine combination called
the ABVD regimen. There is a very high chance that Hodgkin's can be
treated, provided that it is detected at an early stage and treated
immediately with the most appropriate treatment option. Records have it
that early detection and appropriate treatment gives an 85 percent chance
of survival and cure.
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