Hodgkin’s Lymphoma refers to a specific type of lymphoma, or blood cancer. This originates from the white blood cells (lymphocytes) and the lymphatic system. It may also be referred to as Hodgkin’s disease, or Hodgkin lymphoma. The disorder is named after the physician Thomas Hodgkin.
It is imperative that you consult with a medical professional for all inquiries regarding Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, as that is within their scope of practice. Some common signs of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma could include, but may not necessarily be limited to:
- Swelling of lymph nodes in one or more areas, such as on the side of the neck or around the groin;
- Night sweats;
- Itchy skin;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Persistent cough;
- Trouble breathing;
- Chest pain;
- Lymph node pain after consuming alcohol; and/or
- Enlarged spleen.
Symptoms could be similar or related to other conditions, such as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Generally speaking, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is treated through methods such as chemotherapy, radiation treatments, or stem-cell therapies.
There could be some connection with lymphoma cases and toxic tort situations, especially in the workplace. Toxic tort litigation refers to an area of personal injury law involving injuries caused by toxic substances. The injury often results from the plaintiff being exposed to the substance without their knowledge, only to discover later on that they have incurred a serious medical condition because of that exposure.
What Causes Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Scientists believe that Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs when there is a change, or mutation, in the DNA of a white blood cell called “B lymphocytes.” However, the exact reason why the change or mutation occurs is still unknown. The mutation or change in the DNA causes the abnormal lymphocytes to multiply in one or more lymph nodes in areas of the body, such as the neck area, etc. Over time the abnormal growths continue to spread throughout the body to the liver, spleen, and lungs.
A hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis typically occurs after a small amount of affected tissue is removed from the body and examined under a microscope. This process is known as a biopsy. As of right now, hodgkin lymphoma can only be diagnosed from a biopsy of affected tissue.
How Long Can You Live with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Without Treatment?
It is important to note that survival rates for hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on the severity of the cancer cells within your body, amongst a variety of other factors. Such factors include:
- Being older than 45 years of age;
- Being male;
- Having a low red blood cell count (below 10.5);
- Having a low blood lymphocyte count (below 600); and/or
- Having a high white blood cell count (above 15,000).
Having any of the above mentioned factors typically means that your lymphoma can be of a more serious nature. However, it is important to discuss all of your factors and symptoms with a physician. A physician can discuss a treatment care plan for your lymphoma, as well as the survival rates. According to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (“SEER”) program of the National Cancer Institute (“NCI”) the 5-year relative survival rate is around 87%. That data includes the survival rate across all different stages of hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Can Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Be Completely Cured?
For most people diagnosed with Hodkin’s lymphoma, treatment by a qualified physician typically cures the lymphoma. However, many people also fear that the hodgkin’s lymphoma will come back, which is known as a recurrence. Depending on the severity of the hodgkin’s lymphoma, the lymphoma may be completely cured or may never go away completely. Regular treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective treatments to both control the spread of hodgkin’s lymphoma and help relieve symptoms.
Consulting a qualified physician and getting a treatment plan is essential in caring for your hodgkin’s lymphoma. Typical treatment plans include regular exams and tests of the lymphoma, therapy treatments, and suggestions for proper diet and activity.
Because of the possibility for future and continued treatment of hodgkin’s lymphoma, consulting with a well qualified and experienced personal injury attorney is essential in forming your legal damages claim. Typically, an expert witness will also be relied on to prove the future costs of continuing care associated with your hodgkin’s lymphoma.
What Is the Difference Between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma vs. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Although the names are similar, hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-hodgkin lymphoma are very different. Once again, lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells that deal with the immune system. The biggest difference between the two different categories of cancer is the type of white blood cell that is affected. During a biopsy, when a physician is identifying the type of white blood cell that is affected under a microscope, Reed-Sternberg cells are present in a hodgkin’s lymphoma sample. In non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, Reed-Sternberg cells are not present or identifiable.
Additionally, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma is much more common than hodgkin’s lymphoma. Further, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma often arises in more lymph nodes throughout the body, whereas hodgkin’s lymphoma typically begins in the upper body such as the chest area, neck area, or arm area. The patient’s diagnosed with hodgkin’s lymphoma are also typically diagnosed at an earlier age than patients with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because of this, hodgkin’s lymphoma is often considered one of the most treatable cancers.
However, both lymphatic cancers do share similarities beyond the name. For example, both have similar symptoms including enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Thus, it is important to consult a qualified physician that specializes in hodgkin’s lymphoma to determine if you do in fact have hodgkin’s lymphoma, or if you have non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. In either case, it is better to be diagnosed earlier, rather than later.
Can You File a Lawsuit for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Issues?
You may be able to file a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma lawsuit under specific circumstances. Hodgkin’s disease can often be involved in certain legal claims and lawsuits. The condition is commonly caused by exposure to toxins such as Agent Orange, or PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). PCBs are often responsible for many cases of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As such, a legal claim may result in cases where claimants have been negligently exposed to such substances.
This often occurs in the context of a work setting in which safety standards are lax, or are not to standard with state and federal standards. You may be able to join a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma lawsuit as opposed to beginning your own. If several employees are affected or injured by the same cause, it may constitute a toxic exposure class action lawsuit. This is why Hodgkin’s lymphoma is sometimes considered to be a form of industrial disease.
Remedies will generally include a damages award. This is intended to reimburse a victim for costs associated with their injury or loss, and generally covers:
- Medical expenses;
- Hospital bills;
- Therapy costs, whether physical or mental; and/or
- Funeral expenses if the injury resulted in wrongful death.
A judge may also order punitive damages in especially egregious cases. Such damages are intended to punish the defendant for their actions, and generally consist of policy changes.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit?
A lawyer can help obtain a lymphoma lawsuit settlement by representing you in court and ensuring your rights are protected. If you have been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and believe it is due to negligent exposure, you should immediately consult with a skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney will likely be aware of any class action lawsuits you may join in on, or they may be able to start one.