(Science: haematology, oncology) a human malgnant disorder of lymph tissue (lymphoma) that appears to originate in a particular lymph node and later spreads to the spleen, liver and bone marrow. It occurs mostly in individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. It is characterised by progressive, painless enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen and general lymph tissue.
giant cells, the reed Sternberg cells, with mirror image nuclei are diagnostic. Immunological depletion, caused perhaps by the excessive growth of neoplastic histiocytes, occurs.
Four types of the disease are recognised depending on the relative predominance of various neoplastic derivatives of the lymphoid series. Pyrexia is often a feature of the disease.
death often results from generalised immunological inability to respond to infections. If detected early, it has a high remission rate.
Staging: Ann arbor classification; each stage is further classified as:, a no symptoms, B fever, sweats, weight loss.
stage i – involvement of a single lymph–node region or extralymphatic site.
stage II – two or more sites of involvement on the same side of the diaphragm.
stage III – disease involvement on both sides of the diaphragm.
stage iv – disseminated disease of extralymphatic organs, with or without lymph–node involvement.
Indicence: approximately 1,500 new cases per year in the UK.