A brief introduction to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkins Lymphoma

by euthman under CC BY


We humans are far superior to any other species on the planet. It is an instinct of a human that whenever one faces a problem, he/she always set to look for a solution rather than compromising with the situation and letting it happen over and over again. This is the reason why today we have come up with advance technology.

Even after agreeing to the fact that a lot of technological advancements are there to provide us comforts, still they play an important part in giving us a better quality of life.

Medical sciences are a major section of advancement which is there only for the betterment of the human race. There are many diseases, which were either not known or had no cure even if you look into the past hundred years. We have been able to fight a lot of diseases which were fatal even a decade ago.

But as we dig into many situations, we find that there is much more to be learned. There are still many diseases, which do not have a cure because they attack at a very deep level which makes the situation very complicated.

Aside from diseases such as AIDS there is a set of diseases which are not caused by any foreign agent. Therefore, there is no known cause as to how such abnormalities can manifest in our body. One of such abnormalities is Cancer.

What is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma disease?

Cancer of Lymph tissue is called Lymphoma. But before I get on with this disease, let me first explain what ‘Lymph’ actually is. Lymphatic system is also a kind of circulatory system in our body besides the circulation of blood in our veins and vessels. Lymphatic fluid is the escaped fluid from our blood.

This fluid escapes the vessels through spaces between the cells that make up the walls of the arteries and veins. One of the major reasons why it escapes the vessels, is blood pressure. Lymphatic fluid or lymph carries food for the cells which are not right by the vessels. Lymph provides nourishing materials collects the waste and then through lymphatic vessels enter the blood again.

These lymphatic vessels also pass through lymph nodes where there are white blood cells which kill any infective germs. Lymph is present almost everywhere in the body, starting from blood to bones. It is regulated by organs such as liver and spleen. Lymphatic system is named after a specific type of white blood cells called Lymphocytes. Lymphocytes reside in the lymph nodes.

Lymphoma is a name given to cancer within the lymphatic system. It is greatly associated with the Lymphocytes. Just like in any other case of cancer, in Hodgkin’s disease, there is an abnormal increase in the cells as they divide abnormally. Such lymphoma is called Hodgkin’s Lymphoma named after Thomas Hodgkin who helped explain this type of lymphoma.

The reason why Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is dangerous is because these abnormal cells can migrate from one nodule to another and cause problem in every node they pass through, eventually they end up creating a problem in the liver and spleen.

The symptoms are unexplained itchiness, loss of appetite, loss of weight, muscular fatigue, painless enlargement of lymph nodules, enlargement of spleen, enlargement of liver, red patches on the skin and back pain.

Diagnosis is done by biopsy of Lymph nodes and by bone marrow biopsy. The treatment is also very much like other forms of cancers when generally speaking. There is radiotherapy especially if the sight of cancer is localized, but since lymphoma is very dynamic, it can quickly spread to other parts of the body, and that is when chemotherapy is used.

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