Understanding Hodgkin Lymphoma

Advocacy Groups | <b>Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation</b>

Hodgkin lymphoma, named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system which makes up part of the body’s immune system.

Fort Myers, Fla., February 10, 2022 – Hodgkin lymphoma, named after Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, is a cancer that affects the lymphatic system which makes up part of the body’s immune system. Specifically, Hodgkin lymphoma occurs when the DNA changes in white blood cells called lymphocytes. These genetically modified lymphoma cells crowd out the body’s white blood cells and form masses, often in the lymph nodes, decreasing the body’s ability to guard against infection. The presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, named for the scientist that discovered them, in the lymphoma tissue are the characteristic that help physicians distinguish between Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Each year, less than 9,000 people develop Hodgkin lymphoma. And thanks to advances in medical treatment, Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer. The five-year survival rate has more than doubled over the past several decades, from 40 percent in whites observed from 1960-1963 to 89.6 percent in all races from 2010-2016.

Florida Cancer Specialists hematologist and medical oncologist, Napoleon Santos, DO, specializes in treating patients with all blood disorders and cancers, but has a special interest in lymphoma. He encourages anyone diagnosed to speak with their hematologist or oncologist and stresses the importance of empowering patients with information about their cancer and their treatment options.

Most importantly, the message Dr. Santos shares with his patients is one of hope, “a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma is not a death sentence. Thanks to numerous advances in medicine through clinical trials over time, Hodgkin lymphoma is a highly curable disease.”

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, Dr. Santos will lead a discussion specifically about Hodgkin lymphoma as a part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Blood Cancer Conference, Florida 2022. Patients, survivors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals are all encouraged to attend this free, virtual conference. Registration is available here.