What is Hodgkins lymphoma? Stage 2 symptoms explained as Bournemouth footballer David Brooks set to begin treatment

The footballing world has come together to wish a speedy recovery to the promising Welsh star.

David Brooks of AFC Bournemouth. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

The Cherries have confirmed that the 24-year-old underwent medical examinations after leaving international duty with Wales last week and has since been told that he has stage two cancer of the lymphatic system.

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The player, who has made 91 appearances for Bournemouth since signing from Sheffield United in 2018, is expected to start treatment next week.

But what is the disease? Here, we take you through everything you need to know.

What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body.

The National Health Service website describes a ‘clear fluid called lymph’ which ‘flows through the lymphatic vessels and contains infection-fighting white blood cells known as lymphocytes.’

According to the NHS: “In Hodgkin lymphoma, B-lymphocytes (a particular type of lymphocyte) start to multiply in an abnormal way and begin to collect in certain parts of the lymphatic system, such as the lymph nodes (glands).

“The affected lymphocytes lose their infection-fighting properties, making you more vulnerable to infection.”

Hodgkin lymphoma can develop at any age, but it mostly affects young adults in their early 20s and older adults over the age of 70. Slightly more men than women are affected.

Around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.

What are the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma?

The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

Other more general symptoms include night sweats, unintentional weight loss, a high temperature (fever), feelings of breathlessness, persistent itching of the skin all over the body.

Other symptoms will depend on where in the body the enlarged lymph glands are. For example, if the abdomen (tummy) is affected, you may have abdominal pain or indigestion.

According to Cancer Research, the 10-year survival rate is around 75% in the UK, with patients between the ages of 15-39 being the most likely to survive. Over the past 40 years, survival rates as a whole have increased from 47% to 80%.

What has David Brooks said about his diagnosis?

Brooks released a statement confirming the news of his diagnosis on Wednesday evening.

It read: “This is a very difficult message for me to write.

“I have been diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin Lymphoma and will begin a course of treatment next week.

“Although this has come as a shock to myself and my family, the prognosis is a positive one and I am confident that I will make a full recovery and be back playing as soon as possible.

“I’d like to show my appreciation to the doctors, nurses, consultants and staff who have been treating me for their professionalism, warmth and understanding during this period.

“I want to thank everyone at the Football Association of Wales because without the swift attention of their medical team we may not have detected the illness.

“I’d also like to say thank you to AFC Bournemouth for all their support and assistance this past week.

“Although I appreciate that there will be media attention and interest, I would like to ask that my privacy is respected in the coming months and I will share updates on my progress when I am able to do so.

“In the meantime, thank you to everyone for their messages of support – it means so much and will continue to do so in the months ahead.

“I look forward to seeing you all again and playing the sport I love very soon.”

Bournemouth CEO Neil Blake added: “Everyone at AFC Bournemouth will do everything possible to help support David and his family during his recovery.

“We’re not putting any timescales on his return; we will give David all the time he needs to get well and will do everything that we possibly can to help with that.

“I know everyone will be keen to show their love and support for David which will help him immensely as he recovers, but we also urge you all to respect his and his family’s privacy during this time.”

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