Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma described by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832, and characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells.
symptoms of hodgkin's lymphoma
Swollen, but non-painful, lymph nodes are the most common sign of Hodgkin's disease, often occurring in the neck. The lymph nodes of the chest are often affected and these may be noticed on a chest X-ray.
About one-third of people with Hodgkin's disease may also notice some systemic symptoms, such as low-grade fever, night sweats, weight loss, itchy skin, or fatigue.
diagnosing hodgkin's disease
Hodgkin's disease must be distinguished from non-cancerous causes of lymph node swelling (such as various infections) and from other types of cancer. Definitive diagnosis is by lymph node biopsy (removal of a lymph node for pathological examination). Blood tests are also performed to assess function of major organs, to detect lymphoma deposits or to assess safety for chemotherapy. Positron emission tomography is used to detect small deposits that do not show on CT scanning.
Unlike other lymphomas, whose incidence increases with age, Hodgkin's lymphoma has a bimodal incidence curve: that is, it occurs more frequently in two separate age groups, the first being young adulthood (age 15-35), the second being in those over 50 years old. Overall, it is more common in males, except for the nodular sclerosis variant (see below) of Hodgkin disease, which is more common in women.
The incidence of Hodgkin's disease is about 4/100,000 people/year, and accounts for a bit less than 1% of all cancers worldwide.
Posted by Staff at May 18, 2005 6:03 AMblog comments powered by Disqus