Some common symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are:
Some patients may experience pain in the abdomen or indigestion if the lymph glands in the region are affected.
The best way to detect Hodgkin’s lymphoma early is to report symptoms, the most common being a painless lump under the skin. If your doctor suspects Hodgkin’s lymphoma based on your symptoms, medical and family history, they may recommend the following diagnostic tests:
Blood tests provide information on any infections present in the blood and the levels of all blood cells.
A CT scan can help detect any swollen lymph nodes in the body.
An MRI provides a 3D image of the organs and tissues in the body and helps your doctor understand the spread of cancer.
Usually performed with a CT scan, a PET scan gives information about the activity of cells, how to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the particular case and if treatment is working.
A type of biopsy during which a bone marrow sample is collected from the pelvic region under local anaesthesia to determine if cancer has spread to the bone marrow (seen in stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma).
A lymph node biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
There are four types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and each grows and spreads differently. Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment options, therefore, depend upon its type, symptoms, location, stage and spread. The primary Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment options include– chemotherapy and radiation therapy or a combination of both. The type of drugs used in chemotherapy also depends upon the cancer stage, but even advanced-stage Hodgkin’s lymphomas are treatable and have a good prognosis.
Surgery is usually not a treatment option for this cancer. Immunotherapy and stem cell transplants may be recommended. It is common to hear about chemotherapy and Hodgkin’s lymphoma as it is the mainstay for treating this cancer. Speak to your doctor about the possible side effects of chemotherapy.