The first sign is often enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpit. Lymph node biopsy shows the multinucleated Reed-Sternberg cells peculiar to the disease. It spreads from node to node in an orderly fashion. Symptoms include itching, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Because it affects the lymphatic system, the body becomes less able to fight off infection as the disease progresses. Radiation therapy and combinations of chemotherapeutic agents are used in treatment. By the 1990s most newly diagnosed cases were curable.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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