The lymphoid tissues are connected throughout your body, which causes Hodgkin’s lymphoma often spread from a lymph node to another. In severe cases, Hodgkin’s lymphoma can spread from the lymphatic system to distant organs. In addition to cancer, the treatment itself may cause complications.
The most common complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its treatment are the following:
- Leukemia – chemotherapy drugs used to treat the lymphoma can cause leukemia;
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma(NHL) – there is a risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma associated in any treatment used to treat lymphoma;
- Second malignancy – secondary tumors such as tumors in the lungs, breasts or gastrointestinal system may occur even years after the Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment;
- Cardiovascular disease – among the complications of Hodgkin lymphoma treatment, include myocardial infarction and stroke. Complications depend on the amount of radiation received during the radiation therapy. In general, the risk of myocardial infarction or stroke increases when the radiation dose is greater than 30 grays.
- Thyroid disorder – about 50% of cases of Hodgkin’s lymphoma lead to thyroid complications. Scientists believe that the problem is related to mantle irradiation, radiation performed above the diaphragm in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, after mantle radiation the risk of breast cancer seems to increase.
- Infertility – not only the disease, radiotherapy below the diaphragm and chemotherapy containing alkylating agents may lead to infertility. The treatment often leads to an absence of menstruation; in women under twenty-five years, this problem is often reversible. Among men, the protection of testes during the radiation therapy can help prevent infertility problems.
- Other problems – after Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment, mainly two-three years after the end of the treatment, you are at risk of developing zoster or lung infection. Scientists believe that these problems are related to bleomycin and adriamycin, two of thechemotherapy drugs used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma.