|I'm cured from Hodgkin's; Am I at risk now for cancers?
Mar 31, 2002
H i: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's and with HIV in Dec. 2000. I am in remission for the Hodgkin's and HIV loads and counts are ok. I had ABVD chemotherapy and radiation for the Hodgkin's What is the chance for a relapse? Am I more at risk now for other cancers? Thanks.
Response from Dr. Dezube
I'm happy to hear that you are in remission from Hodgkin's disease. You risk of relapse is low, particularly since your HIV loads and counts are okay. You ask a very appropriate question about your risk for other cancers. Survivors of Hodgkin's disease are indeed at risk for other cancers. It is very important you do everything in your power to minimize the risk-- in particular Hodgkin's disease patients are more prone to lung cancer, so if you smoke, then stop. They are more prone to melanoma, so if you are a sun-worshipper, then use appropriate means to block out the sun. Get regulary check-ups. If you are a woman, then get mammograms and cervical PAP smears on a regular basis. If you are a gay man, then get anal PAP smears. This predisposition to cancer is a result of the ability of Hodgkin's disease to impair the immune system.
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