Identifying and Treating Hodgkin Lymphoma in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey

Hodgkin lymphoma, or Hodgkin’s disease, is a fast-spreading form of cancer that starts in the white blood cells and can rapidly invade the body. Luckily, it’s also treatable and even curable if caught quickly. Regional Cancer Care Associates diagnoses and treats Hodgkin lymphoma at our state-of-the-art facilities throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey. We provide proactive, individualized care to help every patient lead a fulfilling life while combating the disease.

White blood cells in the bloodstream

About Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is the least common category of lymphoma. Like other kinds of lymphoma, it is a type of cancer that affects the blood cells. Cancerous cells typically originate in the chest area, neck, armpits, or groin, but they can travel quickly through the body and affect other organs. This means that, without medical intervention, the condition can escalate quickly.

Hodgkin lymphoma comes in four classic subtypes:

  • Nodular sclerosis (NSCHL)
  • Mixed cellularity (MCCHL)
  • Lymphocyte-depleted
  • Lymphocyte-rich

There is another much rarer type: nodular lymphocyte-predominant (NLPHL), which involves large, abnormal cells that are sometimes called popcorn cells because of their appearance.

Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers have not yet identified clear causes for Hodgkin lymphoma. Some theories suggest that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) might be a cause, though this hasn’t yet been proven. Other factors may put patients more at risk, such as being between ages 15 and 30, older than age 55, or having a family history of lymphoma.

Symptoms and Signs

Hodgkin lymphoma is expressed by a few different symptoms that are often easy to identify. People suffering from the condition often experience:

  • Painful, swollen lumps in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Persistent fatigue and dizziness
  • Fevers and night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Severe itching
  • Increased sensitivity to alcohol

These symptoms may also be caused by other conditions, so patients should NOT try to self-diagnose. If you have concerning symptoms, contact your primary care physician or a specialist to receive a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Hodgkin lymphoma is a curable form of cancer. As with any disease, however, it’s essential to obtain an early diagnosis. The sooner a doctor can catch the condition, the higher the chances of successful treatment. Diagnosing Hodgkin lymphoma requires a range of tests, including:

  • Physical exam: The physician feels for swelling in lymph nodes on the neck, groin, and armpits.
  • Chest X-ray: An X-ray is taken to examine for swollen lymph nodes or other signs of disease.
  • Blood count test: This measures the balance between types of blood cells.
  • Lymph node biopsy: The physician tests tissue samples from lymph nodes for abnormal cells.

If Hodgkin lymphoma is found, your treatment team can prescribe chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of both. This is usually enough to completely cure the lymphoma. In more severe cases, however, a more aggressive treatment such as a bone marrow transplant might be necessary.

Fight Hodgkin Lymphoma with Regional Cancer Care Associates

If you or a loved one is battling Hodgkin lymphoma, the expert oncologists at Regional Cancer Care Associates are standing by to help. We are dedicated to delivering effective diagnoses and high-quality treatments, and we take a personalized approach to help each patient fight his or her disease. To find out more or to make an appointment, get in touch with us at our locations in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey.