Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment

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Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment – Introduction

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer that begins in the white blood cells. The two main types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma. There are different types of treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplant.

The first line of Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment in India is usually chemotherapy. This is a very effective treatment option and the success rates are high. However, the treatment options depend on the stage of the disease, the patient’s age and health, and other factors.

Hodgkin's lymphoma Treatment in India

Causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Any precise reason for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not yet known to the experts. However, this cancer develops when the changes in the DNA of lymphocytes makes them duplicate uncontrollably.

Some known reasons that contribute to the development of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are –

  • Patient’s genetics,
  • Epstein-Barr virus Infection that causes mononucleosis, and
  • Immunosuppression

Causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

    Some of the commonly found symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include –

  • Swelling in the neck, groin or armpit region. This swelling is generally painless, though some people find that it does cause pain. It is caused dueto excessively affected lymphocytes or white blood cells getting collected in your lymph node.
  • Lymph nodes are basically lumps of tissues found throughout your body. They are pea-sized and contain white blood cells which help in fighting against infection.
  • Do note that it is quite unlikely that you have Hodgkin lymphoma if your lymph nodes are swollen. These glands may also swell in response to any infection.

The other more general symptoms observed in patients coming to the best hospital for Hodgkin lymphoma treatment in India are –

  • Having night sweats
  • Significant weight loss without putting any extra effort for the same
  • High grade fever
  • Having breathlessness of cough that doesn’t get relieved
  • Problem of itching in the skin all through your body
  • Indigestion or abdominal pain if your abdomen is affected

Some patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are also found to have abnormal cell growth in their bone marrow. This causes symptoms like excessive tiredness, frequent infections, bleeding from the nose, and also blood spots under the skin.

Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Following are the tests and procedures that are performed by the best doctors for Hodgkin lymphoma treatment in India for diagnosing the disease –

  • Physical examination
    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and do physical examination in order to check for lymph node swelling.
  • Blood tests
    A sample of your blood will get examined in the lab to screen your general health and find out any signs of cancer.
  • Imaging tests
    Imaging tests are done to check for signs of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in other parts of your body. The tests would include – X-ray, CT/MRI and PET CT.
  • Biopsy
    Your doctor will also advise biopsy during which he will remove a lymph node that further gets tested in the lab for ruling signs of cancer. Your doctor will also look for markers on the cell surface in order to determine the type of Hodgkin’s lymphoma you might have and what treatment options will be most suitable for your cancer.
  • Bone Marrow Aspiration
    This is a minor procedure that involves inserting a needle into your hipbone in order to remove a sample of bone marrow. The sample is then analyzed to find out the presence of Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells.

Diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment in India

Treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually depends upon the stage of the patient’s disease. The mainstream treatment options are –

  • Radiation therapy
    Radiation therapy makes use of high energy beams of radiation for destroying cancer cells in particular areas of the body. It is found to be doing well as far as killing cancer cells in people suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma is concerned. It might be given as primary treatment or also sometimes administered after chemotherapy. Doctors prefer using radiation with the lowest effective dose in order to minimize potential side effects of the therapy.
  • Chemotherapy
    Chemotherapy uses medications which can kill cancer cells. The chemo drugs can be taken by mouth or your doctor will inject it through your vein, depending on that specific medicine. The most common chemotherapy medication for a typical Hodgkin’s lymphoma is called ABVD. It is a mix of drugs like – Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Bleomycin, Vinblastine, and Dacarbazine.
  • Other drug therapies
    Besides chemotherapy, several other drug therapies can be used, such as:
    • Steroids – These are at times added to chemotherapy for cases where initial treatment did not work or if a patient’s cancer is advanced.
    • Targeted therapy– Drugs used in targeted therapy attack cancerous cells without harming healthy cells to the extent chemotherapy drugs do.
    • Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy drugs will boost the ability of your immune system and help in targeting and destroying cancer cells of your Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Bone Marrow Transplant for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Bone Marrow Transplant, also known as Stem Cell Transplant, can also be a treatment option as suggested by the top doctor for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in India. This is usually advised if patients do not respond well to radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

During stem cell transplant in India, your doctor will infuse healthy cells, called as stem cells, into your body to replace the cancerous cells in your bone marrow.

The two main types of bone marrow transplants are:

  • Autologous Stem Cell Transplant – Stem cells will be collected from your own body before treatment and stored until you receive high-dose of chemotherapy or radiation. These stem cells are then put back into your body after your chemotherapy or radiation therapy gets completed.
  • Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant – During this transplant, stem cells are taken from a donor, who is normally a sibling or close relative and then transplanted into your body. Allogeneic stem cell transplants are generally done when an autologous transplant has failed.

Outcome and Follow up Care

After your treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in India, your doctor will ask for follow up on a regular basis. Do ensure to keep all your medical records and to religiously follow all the instructions from your doctor.

Outcome and Follow up Care

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