Healthy Living

9-year-old with Lymphoma Designs Color Scheme for NASCAR Driver

More about Hodgkin lymphoma

This type of cancer involves the lymph system, which is a major part of the body’s immune system. The job of the immune system is to seek and destroy invading cells. As the system meanders, it picks up lymph fluid from body organs.

At “stop points” along the way are nodules whose job it is to filter out the system’s lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to store them in the lymph nodes for use in fighting infection and disease. Another task assigned the lymph system is to return lymph fluid to the bloodstream.

With lymphoma, cancer cells grow within this pipeline that connects with various organs throughout the body. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), there are two types of pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma: Classical, and Nodular lymphocyte-dominant. Diagnosis of lymphoma and differentiating between the two types are done by various tests to include a physical exam, CAT scan, PET scan, chest x-ray, numerous types of blood work, and lymph node biopsy. By looking at the biopsied cells under a microscope, the presence of specialized cells named Reed-Sternberg will proclaim the presence of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma. 

Additionally, the biopsied cells can be studied in the lab to seek specific antigens or markers on the cell surface.  This will allow for targeted therapy for the specific cancer cells.