We have been hearing a lot about this type of tumor lately, particularly since its diagnosis in public figures like the actor Dani Rovira or tennis player Carla Suarez. In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about this type of cancer.
Lymphoma is the general term for a group of types of cancer involving the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is a part of our immune system. It is distributed throughout our body and is made up of lymphoid organs, lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels that transport lymph.
Lymph is the fluid that contains white blood cells or lymphocytes. There are three types of lymphocytes:
- T cells, responsible for cell response.
- B cells, which produce antibodies.
- NK (natural killer) cells, responsible for destroying infected cells.
Hodgkin Lymphoma often originates as an uncontrolled proliferation of B cells.
Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) or Hodgkin’s Disease is an uncommon type of tumor that most often affects people between the ages of 15 and 40 and over 55 years of age.
Generally, the first sign of Hodgkin Lymphoma is a node that becomes inflamed and enlarged for no apparent reason.
Some of the most common symptoms of this disease are:
- Weight loss
- Fever and chills
- Exaggerated night sweats
- Itching all over the body
Hodgkin Lymphoma can be differentiated into two types: Nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL and Classical HL. The latter has 4 subtypes: nodular sclerosis (70% of cases), mixed cellularity, high in lymphocytes, and lymphoid depletion.
Risk factors for Hodgkin Lymphoma
Several risk factors have been described that increase the likelihood of developing this disease, the most prominent being:
- Epstein-Barr Virus/Mononucleosis: Epstein/Barr Virus (EBV) causes the disease known as mononucleosis. People who have had infectious mononucleosis have a greater chance of developing HL.
- Age: it is more common in people aged 15 to 40 years, and from 55 years onwards.
- Sex: Hodgkin Lymphoma is slightly more common in men.
- Immunosuppression: people infected with HIV, people taking immunosuppressants due to organ transplantation and people with autoimmune diseases have an increased risk of suffering Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma
In most cases, Hodgkin Lymphoma can be cured. The type of treatment required will depend on the extent the disease has spread, but chemotherapy and radiation therapy are usually required. In cases where such treatments do not work, immunotherapy or stem cell transplants may be used.
American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/es/cancer/linfoma-hodgkin.html
Spanish Association Against Cancer https://www.aecc.es/es/todo-sobre-cancer/tipos-cancer/linfoma-tipo-hodgkin