Hodgkin Lymphoma—Adult

(Hodgkin Disease—Adult)

Definition

Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system drains excess fluid from the blood and protects against infection. Hodgkin lymphoma is different from other forms of lymphoma .
The Lymphatic Organs
The Lymphatic Organs
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body—in this case a type of white blood cell called lymphocyte—divide without control or order. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissue and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.

Causes

The cause of Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown. It is likely related to complex genetic and environmental factors that lead to changes of the immune system. There are some compelling pieces of data to suggest that it is caused by a virus. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been considered.

Risk Factors

Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in men and people ages 15-40 and over 55 years of age. Factors that increase your chance of getting Hodgkin lymphoma include:
  • Family history
  • History of infectious mononucleosis or infection with Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis
  • Weakened immune system, including infection with HIV or the presence of AIDS

Symptoms

Symptoms include:
  • Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Night sweating
  • Coughing
  • Unexplained fever
  • Weight loss
  • Itching
  • Decreased appetite

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