Hodgkin’s lymphoma refers to a group of pathologies of the lymphatic system of a malignant nature, their share is about 40% of the total number of lymphomas. What kind of disease is Hodgkin’s lymphoma, we will understand in the article.
Description of the disease, stage
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a malignant enlargement of lymphoid tissue, which is characterized by the formation of specific cells. Another name for the disease is lymphogranulomatosis. It is accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes located under the lower jaw, above the collarbones, general weakness, enlargement of the spleen, subfebrile temperature.
The focus of pathology is located in the lymph nodes and does not affect the bone marrow for a long time. Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be distinguished from other forms only by tests that show the presence of Berezovsky-Sternberg-Reed cells.
The risk group includes young men aged 20-30 years, as well as the elderly who have reached 60 years. The largest number of cases is registered between the ages of 16 and 34.
There are five stages of the disease:
- at the zero stage, a person does not feel any changes in the state of health;
- the first is characterized by a slight weakness due to which the possibilities of physical labor are limited;
- on the second, fatigue reaches a peak – the patient lies half the day, movement is difficult;
- at the third stage, a person has been lying for more than half a day, even performing habitual actions is a great difficulty, constant care is needed;
- the fourth stage is the most severe, patients mostly lie down, get tired quickly, even a conversation can quickly tire.
How Hodgkin’s lymphoma manifests itself
The initial signs of pathology include:
- feeling weak;
- increased sweating, which increases at night;
- elevated temperature – over 38 °C.
Symptoms are characteristic of colds, so people do not take them seriously. As a result, the condition worsens over time – a person loses weight, notices an increase in lymph nodes, their compaction, while there is no discomfort when probing.
Symptoms of Hodgkin ‘s lymphoma are also:
- soreness in the nodes when drinking alcoholic beverages;
- changing the reaction to insect bites in the direction of strengthening;
- complaints of itchy sensations without obvious reasons.
At more serious stages, there are: difficulty breathing and swallowing, as well as swelling of large vessels on the neck and head. In the absence of adequate treatment for such symptoms, a person will begin complications in the form of intestinal obstruction, enlargement of the spleen, problems with kidney work. Possible development of renal and heart failure. Due to the weakening of the body and a decrease in immunity, infection with infections occurs, the pathogens of which are safe for an ordinary person.
Why does lymphogranulomatosis occur
The exact causes of the disease have not been established. There are several triggers of Hodgkin ‘s disease:
- genetic predisposition when the disease is hereditary;
- previously suffered severe infectious diseases;
- spontaneous change of lymphocytes provoked by exposure to viruses or taking medications that inhibit the immune system.
The factors that provoke the disease include:
- the effect of radiation radiation;
- work with harmful substances – pesticides, herbicides, solvents, benzenes;
- living in regions with poor ecology.
Since the exact causes of this type of lymphoma are unknown, there is no special prevention.
It is important to identify the disease in time, since the patient’s chance of recovery depends on early diagnosis. Usually the examination includes:
- taking tests – UAC, OAM;
- blood analysis for biochemistry, attention is paid to liver samples and proteins of the acute phase of inflammation;
- chest radiography;
- computed tomography;
- ultrasound examination;
- positron emission tomography;
- puncture and biopsy of lymph node cells.
Various organs and systems are examined, and in some cases the body is completely. Thanks to the tests, the doctor finds out the presence of concomitant infections – human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis. For visual assessment of the degree of lymph node proliferation, endoscopic examinations are used: FGDS, bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, laparoscopy.
Diagnosis takes a long time, in some cases a medical consultation is appointed to determine the tactics of treatment.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Therapy
The treatment protocol is selected individually and depends on the stage of the process. The disease at the initial stage is treated with radiotherapy. In some cases, one month is enough for the onset of remission.
In the later stages, the treatment is supplemented with chemotherapy. The duration of the course and the type of drug depend on the patient’s condition. It is possible to prescribe hormonal drugs.
If the disease has taken a severe form, then an operation is performed – the tumor, spleen and other organs in which irreversible changes have occurred are removed. For surgical intervention, there must be grounds listed in the clinical guidelines for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is used when medication and radiotherapy are ineffective.
Patients need to adhere to proper nutrition. The diet should contain vitamins in sufficient quantities, heavy food should not be consumed. The menu should be varied, meals should be fractional and frequent.
If proper treatment is started at an early stage, the survival rate reaches 90%. The later treatment is started, the worse the prognosis of survival becomes – up to 45% at the fourth stage.