Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of certain characteristics it is actually no longer classified as a form of Hodgkin’s Disease, but it is still often referred to as such. Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphocytes, a type of cell in the immune system. These cells are found in the lymph nodes in places throughout the body including the chest, armpits and stomach. The lymph nodes function is to filter foreign particles in the body. Certain features of nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma distinguish it from other types of lymphoma.
It can occur at any age, but usually is found in those in their 30’s. It is three times as likely to occur in men as it is in women. Approximately 8,000 Americans are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma each year and about 5-10% of those are nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma cases. In approximately 3% of these cases the nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma goes beyond the lymph nodes and metastasizes into the bone marrow.
Signs & Symptoms of Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma
The main symptom of nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma is enlarged lymph nodes. This is often accompanied by fever, weight loss and sweating at night. The cells of Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma spread in an orderly fashion from one lymph node to another. It generally grows slower than other forms of lymphoma.
Diagnosis of Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma
Since most patients can physically feel when their lymph nodes are swollen, the chances for an early diagnosis are very good. Doctors will perform a biopsy of the cells to determine if it is lymphoma. Molecular tests are then needed to more specifically diagnose the type of lymphoma.
Treatment of Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma
A combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally used to treat nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma. A person’s age, sex, and the stage that the cancer is in are factors used to determine a treatment plan. Since it is such a slow growing cancer one treatment option may also be to simply monitor its growth. In some cases the treatment can cause more harm than the disease itself. A medication called Rituximab has shown to be beneficial in cases of relapse.
Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma Prognosis
Since nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma is often detected and diagnosed in the early stages prognosis is very good. It responds well to treatment and has a 90% recovery rate over 10 years. Unfortunately relapses are not uncommon.