HL is one of two common forms of cancer of the body's lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of lymph nodes and interconnecting lymph vessels. Lymph nodes are small pea-shaped organs that make and store lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that fight infection. In HL, a cancerous tumor develops in a lymph node, usually in the neck or chest. The disease is characterized by the presence of the Reed-Sternberg cells and as it progresses it may affect the body's ability to fight infection. The disease shows 2 peaks, the first in young adulthood (age 15-35) and the second in those over 55 years. The cause is unknown and its really just the luck of the draw. Fortunately, it is one of the most treatable forms of cancer and most patients go on to live long, healthy lives.
Ta da! And there you go in a nutshell. I feel like I've learned so much in the 3 weeks since my diagnosis, I can only imagine what I'll knowledge I'll have when this is all done. I want to learn anything and everything about this disease and I even try and read my doctor's files when he puts them on the table....knowing I have no idea what half the stuff means! But if you're more informed, you can make better decisions so thats what I'm aiming for.