DESCRIPTIONHodgkin's disease is a malignant tumor of the lymph glands. This is less common than lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's disease). The lymphocytes (white blood cells), lymph glands (glands which check infection and produce immune substances), and spleen (a large lymph gland located high in the left side of the abdomen just below the ribs) are involved. Hodgkin's disease may affect all ages but is rare in children under 10.
Appropriate health care:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Hospitalization for short periods of treatment.
Surgery to discover the extent of disease (called "staging").
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSItching all over the body.
Swollen, non-tender, rubbery, distinct lymph glands anywhere in the body--but most commonly in the armpit or groin.
Pain in the diseased area after drinking alcohol.
Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes).
General ill feeling.
Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.
Unknown, but research suggests a virus infection may be a factor.
No known risk factor.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies of blood and bone marrow.
Lymphangiogram (See Glossary).
Biopsy (See Glossary) of lymph node.
X-rays of various body parts that may be involved.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSSpread of malignancy to other parts of the body.
Usually curable with radiation therapy and anti-cancer drugs. With treatment, the 10-year survival rate is about 80%. The potential for cure varies according to the cell type discovered from biopsy of the lymph node.
HOME CARETry to remain optimistic about your child's treatment and chances for cure. A good mental attitude is a powerful ally for the child as well as the rest of the family.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe anti-cancer drugs. Medication may cause side effects or adverse reactions in some children. New symptoms may be caused by the medicine, by the original disorder, or by a new illness. Side effects caused by medicine usually disappear when the body adjusts to the drug or when the drug is discontinued.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Urge your child to remain as active as possible.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite has returned and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of Hodgkin's disease.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Signs of infection (redness, swelling, pain, or tenderness) anywhere in the body.
-- Swelling of the feet and ankles.
-- Discomfort when urinating or decreased urination during any 24-hour period.
You think your child's medicine is causing symptoms.