A Comparison Between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

A Comparison between Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system and ultimately compromises the immune system. Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the two main lymphoma expressions. They are distinguishable by the appearance of Reed-Stenberg cells in Hodgkin lymphoma (Montross & Timmerman, 2016). Yet, further variations are evident in their pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Pathophysiology

Hodgkin’s Lymphomas Pathophysiology

            HD is a type of cancer originating from the lymphocytes and characterized by the presence of Reed-Stenberg cells. The cells originate from the B-cell, but inhibit the expression of associated genes which, subsequently, prevents the production of antibodies. The emergence of Reed-Stenberg cells is commonly associated with the stimulation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) (Bryon & Berger, 2016). An overall elevation of NF-kB often signifies abnormal B-lymphocyte multiplication and an early onset of HD. Although the exact etiology of HD is unknown, it is linked to risk factors such as a weakened immune system and exposure to Epstein-Barr virus.

Read also Pathophysiology of Hodgkin’s Disease

Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas Pathophysiology

            NHLs are characterized by the emergence tumors in the lymph nodes. Cell immortalization is also a common feature of NHL as a result of gradual clonal expansion of lymphocytes, inhibiting the action of genes responsible for suppressing genes. A majority of NHL cases originate from B-lymphocytes; with tumors differing in size, variation, rate of propagation, and histologic development pattern (Cerhan et al., 2017). The pattern of development and cell size are two of the most important factors to consider when seeking determining the aggressiveness of a B-cell tumor.

 Signs and Symptoms

The following are major signs and symptoms associated with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

  1. Painless lymph node inflammation.
  2. Night chills.
  3. Fever.
  4. Unexplained fatigue.
  5. Abdominal pain.
  6. Shortness of breath.
  7. Unexplained weight loss.

The following are major signs and symptoms associated with Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas:

  1. Lymph node inflammation.
  2. Chest pain.
  3. Night chills.
  4. Unexplained weight loss.
  5. Extreme fatigue
  6. Loss of appetite.
  7. Swollen abdomen.

Diagnosis

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis

The following test and procedures may be applied when diagnosing Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

  1. Physical exam: Conducted to check for evidence of lymph node inflammation.
  2. Biopsy: Entails removing a section of the affected lymph node to be evaluated in the laboratory.
  3. Bone marrow test: A bone marrow sample, normally from the hip bone, is obtained, and analyzed for evidence of HD.
  4. Imaging tests: A computed tomography (CT) scan or X-ray may also be recommended to assess the spread of HD in other areas of the body.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Diagnosis

The following test and procedures may be applied when diagnosing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:

  1. Physical exam: Conducted to check for evidence of lymph node inflammation.
  2. Lymph node biopsy: Lymph node tissue may be obtained and analyzed in a laboratory.
  3. Bone marrow biopsy:  A bone marrow sample is obtained and evaluated for the presence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cells
  4. Urine and blood tests: Conducted to exclude infections from consideration.
  5. Imaging tests: A computed tomography (CT) scan or X-ray may also be recommended to assess the spread of HD in other areas of the body.
  6. Spinal tap: A lumber puncture might also be recommended for suspected cases of NHL where the lymphoma may have affected the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (Aldoss & Nademanee, 2015).

Treatment

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Treatment

The following treatment options are normally recommended after HD diagnosis:

  1. Chemotherapy: Cancer cells are eliminated using medication, normally administered in intravenously. Chemotherapy medication may include Etoposide Adriamycin, Oncovin, Blenoxane, or Prednisone (Straus, 2018).
  2. Radiotherapy: Usually applicable during the formative stages of HD development. Radiotherapy is applied with a great deal of precision to selectively kill cancer cells using ionizing radiation.
  3. Steroid medication: Commonly used in advanced cases of HD together withchemotherapy.
  4. Immunotherapy: Forces the immune therapy to improve its action against cancer. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently approves Nivolumab (Opdivo) brentuximab vedotin,and  pembrolizumab and (Keytruda) (Chiu & Chadburn, 2017).

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment

The following treatment options are recommended for NHL:

  1. Chemotherapy: Administering medicine to kill cancer cells.
  2. Radiotherapy: Using ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells selectively.
  3. Targeted drug therapy: Identifies and addresses abnormalities caused by cancer cells.

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