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Hodgkin's Disease
(HM006)

Introduction


The lymphatic system includes the lymph nodes and related organs that are part of the body's immune and blood-forming systems. The lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped organs located in the neck, underarm, groin, chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Lymph nodes make and store infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes. They are connected throughout the body by lymph vessels that carry lymphatic fluid containing the lymphocytes.

Cancers of the lymph system (lymphomas) are divided into Hodgkin's disease (HD) and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. As the cancer cells in HD grow, they can compress, invade, and destroy normal tissue and spread to other tissues either through the lymph system or the bloodstream.

The American Cancer Society has estimated that about 7,400 new cases of HD will be diagnosed in the year 2000. It tends to affect men more often than women. Hodgkin's disease can occur at any age, even in childhood, although there are two periods in which it is more common: between the ages of 15 and 24, and after age 55.

HD is potentially curable even in late stages. Current treatment regimens have achieved long-term disease-free survival in 70-90% of persons with advanced-stage disease and 85-100% of persons with localized disease.

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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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