Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system. Located in the lymph nodes, it is most often found in children and young adults and compromises the body’s ability to fight infection. It is most often diagnosed in those between the ages of 15 and 35 and most often impacts those with a family history of lymphoma.
A Cancer in the Cells of the Immune System
Hodgkin Lymphoma originates in cells within the part of the immune system known as the lymphatic system.
Lymphatic Tissue & Hodgkin Lymphoma
Because lymphatic tissue is in many parts of the body, Hodgkin Lymphoma can begin almost anywhere.
Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma include:
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin
- Night Sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain in lymph nodes after drinking alcohol
- Recurring fatigue
- Coughing or chest pain
- Loss of appetite
If one or more of these symptoms appear and remain for up to two weeks, contact your doctor immediately.
In order to diagnose Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a physician may complete a physical exam in which they check for swollen lymph nodes. They may take a blood sample to be tested in a lab or complete a biopsy, in which they remove a small amount of bone marrow for testing. Imaging tests are also common, including X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).
The majority of individuals with Hodgkin Lymphoma that are treated with traditional radiation therapy are cured, but they often experience significant side effects, including secondary cancers later in life.
With pencil beam capabilities that precisely target cancerous areas, proton therapy is a treatment method less likely to lead to significant side effects, such as heart disease and secondary cancers, when compared to traditional radiation methods. Less healthy tissue is exposed to radiation, allowing physicians to successfully treat the cancerous cells and reducing the likelihood of secondary cancers.