Hodgkin’s disease (Hodgkin lymphoma) is a common type of cancer which affects the lymphatic system characterized by presence of Reed Sternberg cells. Lymph tissue is found throughout the body, so Hodgkin’s disease can begin in any part of the body and spread to almost all tissues or organs of the body. Hodgkin’s disease is observed both in children and adults . Hodgkins disease is most common in males than females. HL is seen more common in young adults (15-35 years) and adults greater than 55 years.
Types: There are two main types of Hodgkin’s disease (HL). They are classical HL and nodular lymphocyte predominant HL. Most of the people have classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and it is sub classified into four pathologic subtypes based upon the Reed Sternberg (RS) cells morphology. They are:
Nodular sclerosing CHL – It is composed of large tumor nodules showing scattered lacunar classical RS cells.
Mixed cellularity – It is composed of numerous classic RS cells admixed with numerous inflammatory cells.
Lymphocyte rich – It is a rare subtype and show many features which may cause diagnostic confusion with nodular lymphocyte predominant B-cell.
Lymphocyte depleted – It is also a rare subtype composed of large number of pleomorphic RS cells with only few reactive lymphocytes which may easily be confused with diffuse large cell lymphoma.
Stages: There are four stages
First stage – in this, only one lymph node area is affected or cancer occurs locally into adjacent tissue around lymph node.
Second stage – in this, two or more lymph node areas above the diaphragm are affected and the cancer spreads out from the lymph node area to the nearby tissue.
Third stage – in this, it affects lymph node areas on both sides of the diaphragm, and it is even possible that the cancers affects not just different lymph node areas, but have been extended to an area or organ adjacent to the lymph node or the spleen.
Fourth stage – in this, cancer has been affected one or more organs outside the lymphatic system, like the bone marrow or liver.
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