The goal of treatment is to bring about complete remission, which is the total absence of any signs or symptoms of the disease. The type of treatment depends on the stage of the cancer.
For stages 1 and 2, the common therapy is radiation. This refers to using high-energy beams of invisible particles to penetrate the body and destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy takes place over several weeks. Sometimes, radiation is used in combination with chemotherapy. This involves using anticancer medications to kill tumours or cancer cells.
For stages 3 and 4, the primary treatment is chemotherapy, occasionally followed by radiation. Although chemotherapy can bring about remission of the cancer, it also causes a number of uncomfortable side effects (e.g., nausea, vomiting, weakness) and suppresses a person's immune system. Chemotherapy regimens require that a person take a combination of different anticancer medications commonly used to treat Hodgkin's disease. Chemotherapy treatment may last 3 to 6 months, with cycles of medication followed by periods of no medication for the body to recover.
If a relapse occurs after chemotherapy treatment, then it will be treated again. The treatment method will depend on where the cancer is and what treatment options were used when the cancer was last treated. Higher doses of anticancer medication may be used, and this treatment may be combined with radiation.
In cases where the cancer returns, an autologous bone marrow transplant (in which a person's own bone marrow is removed before chemotherapy and then replaced afterwards) is often done so that the body can handle larger doses of anticancer medications. Because it is autologous, that is, one's own bone marrow is replaced, there is no risk of rejection or need to take transplant medications as one might for allogeneic transplants (i.e., from another donor).
When Hodgkin's disease is discovered at an early stage, the cure rate is very high – up to 90% of cases.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Hodgkins-Disease