The majority of newly diagnosed patients are expected to survive Hodgkin's disease because of effective therapies established during past 30 years. Long-term observations from large populations of treated patients have disclosed a variety of late effects of the disease and its therapy have contributed morbidity and excess mortality to Hodgkin's disease survivors. Secondary cancers have continued to accrue, and the risk relative to the general population has increased to 6.4 (95% confidence intervals: 5.5 to 7.3) in updated experience at Stanford University. Risks are significantly elevated for leukemia (primarily after chemotherapy regimens containing alkylating agents); non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; and tumors of the lung, breast, soft tissues, bone, stomach, pancreas, salivary gland, thyroid, and cutaneous melanoma. Early cardiovascular disease has also been observed and numerically exceeds second cancers as a cause of death in patients with early stage Hodgkin's disease (49 v 47 cases). Pulmonary dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, infertility, psychosocial changes, gastrointestinal problems, soft-tissue changes, alterations in immunity, and risks for infection have also affected some treated patients. As these problems have been recognized, treatment approaches have been modified over the last 10 to 15 years, and early data suggest a decrease in some treatment sequellae.
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