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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hodgkin lymphoma, or Hodgkin disease, is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system contains lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and glands. Lymph vessels carry lymph fluid throughout the body. Lymph fluid contains lymphocytes (white blood cells) that help fight infection and disease. Hodgkin lymphoma causes lymphocytes to grow and divide without control and to form tumors. Hodgkin lymphoma can develop in any lymph tissue in the body. Common places are lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, and chest. Cancer cells can travel from lymph node to lymph node and spread through the body.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
- Antibiotics help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Medicine may be given to relieve nausea.
- Immune globulins are given as a shot or an IV infusion to make your immune system stronger. You may need immune globulins to treat or prevent an infection. You may need many weeks of treatment. Each infusion can take from 2 to 5 hours.
- Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
- Blood tests may show abnormal white blood cells or signs of anemia (not enough red blood cells). The tests may also be used to measure the amount of inflammation in your blood. Blood tests can also be used to check your liver and kidney function, or see if the cancer has spread to bone.
- A biopsy is a procedure to remove a sample of lymph node or bone marrow to be tested. Bone marrow is tissue inside the bone. Your healthcare provider may test a bone marrow sample to see if the cancer has spread to bone. He may use a needle to take a sample from a lymph node, or remove a lymph node during surgery. He will also check biopsy samples for Reed-Sternberg cells. These cells help your healthcare provider know you have Hodgkin lymphoma.
- X-ray, CT, MRI, or PET scan pictures may be taken of your chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The pictures may show where the cancer is located. Your healthcare provider may use the x-rays to look for tumors, blockages, signs of infection, or other problems. You may be given contrast liquid to help the cancer show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
- An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound. Sound waves are used to show the structure and function of your heart. Healthcare providers will use it to see if your heart is strong enough for certain types of chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy is medicine used to treat cancer by killing tumor cells. Chemotherapy may also be used to shrink lymph nodes that contain cancer.
- Radiation therapy uses x-rays or gamma rays to treat cancer. Radiation kills cancer cells and may stop the cancer from spreading. It may be given alone or with chemotherapy.
- A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace your diseased bone marrow with healthy marrow. You are usually given bone marrow from a donor. Sometimes your own marrow may be used if it is collected when your cancer is in remission (not active). The bone marrow transplant is given to you in an IV while you are in the hospital.
Even with treatment, your cancer may spread or return. You are also at risk for developing new cancers, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma.