Since knowledge is power, let’s talk about Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Nikki Sommer, a nurse with Key West Surgical Group, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5 FM for Medical Matters this morning.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer affecting the lymphatic system.

Sommer said, “It’s the germ fighting immune system, your lymph nodes. Anytime you’ve had some illness, strep throat comes to mind, my glands were always swollen, under your throat when you you’re sick. So your lymph nodes respond when there’s an infection. So lymphoma is an infection through in your lymph nodes. It’s a cancer and it’s when white blood cells called lymphocytes, they come from your lymph nodes, they grow out of control, causing swollen lymph nodes and growth throughout the body. So I know not necessarily a surgical topic, however, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the two types of lymphomas that you usually hear of, and thank you to advances in treatment of Hodgkin’s, there’s usually a full recovery and people improve however, because it usually occurs in people that are young, like younger adults, in their 20s and 30s, you’re at risk for other disease processes throughout your lifetime. So it’s important to stay on top of those. You can develop secondary types of cancers or cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, fibroids in women, infertility and chronic fatigue.”

What are the risk factors of Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

Sommer said, “Usual risk factors are your age, it usually happens in people in their 20s and 30s and then again over the age of 55. If you have a family history of somebody in your family, a blood relative has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, it does increase your risk for you getting Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well. Men seem to be typically more prone to it than females. This was an eye opener to me because my younger daughter had Epstein Barr as a baby. If you have ever been diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus, which is like mononucleosis, you are more susceptible for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I don’t mean to panic, everybody. It doesn’t that you’ll get it, but you’re just in that category of higher risk.”

HIV infection can also increase the risk.

Sommer said, “Why am I bringing this up? So colorectal cancer screening should be started at least 15 years after treatment, or at the age of 35 for those survivors who had had radiation below the diaphragm or systemic chemo. They’re finding there’s a high incidence in colon cancer in patients who have had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that were treated with radiation. They said below the diaphragm, so your abdomen, your abdominal cavity and down or if you had to get chemo IV, you are at higher risk for getting colon cancer. So they recommend, depending on your age, starting at the age of 35, not 45 or 15 years from when you completed your treatment. People that do have all different types of cancers, some of them they say it’s from the chemo, and I guess the radiation, that it can make you susceptible to other cancers. So just make sure you’re under the care of your provider and that you follow the guidelines.”

The folks at Key West Surgical Group recently went to a training for their new PicoSure laser.

Sommer said, “They invited us this past weekend in Charleston, we went to their education seminar and hands on training, where Dr. Smith pampered herself. She got herself a treatment by one of the machines we don’t have, which was a lot of fun. Then yesterday, I got to do her own skin rejuvenation. So there’s some fun videos of her getting her treatments done on our social media. So you have to check that out. It was a big step for her.”

If you would like to see what the PicoSure can do, there are still appointments available.

Sommer said, “We have some available left before the end of the year. I mean, by all means, if you can’t commit to before, but you want to come in for a consultation, we can do that too and then schedule into the new year. We do have special pricing going on right now for the holidays. So we’d like to extend that to you and to your loved ones. So yes, absolutely come by, get a gift certificate. It’s the perfect gift idea for somebody that’s in need of either tattoo removal or they want to brighten up their skin.”