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Victoria Duval’s latest challenge

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Victoria Duval’s latest challenge is not on the tennis court, but her new diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Born in the US to Haitian parents, both medical doctors.; Duval is one of the rising stars of tennis. She became a sensation last year during the US open, beating 2011 champion Samantha Stosur to reach the second round.

Last week, after her loss in the second round at Wimbledon 2014, she announced that she will “step away from tennis competition for a short period after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, first described by Thomas Hodgkin, thus bear his name, is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is a component of our immune system. About 8000 new cases of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma occur each year in the US, which represents less than 1% of all cancers. Most cases occur between the ages of 15 to 35 years, with another small peak among those older than 50 years old.

Patients with Hodgkin lymphoma usually present with painless enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck and armpit, and non-specific symptoms such as constant fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and a classic cyclic nighttime fever pattern.

While this is sad news for victoria Duval and tennis fans, there is a silver lining: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has a very good prognosis, meaning with appropriate treatment, usually chemotherapy, it has a high rate of complete and durable remission. In fact, the treatment of early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been one of the success stories of the field of cancer treatment. The treatment results and outcomes have been so successful that the focus has now shifted to minimizing the intensity of treatment in order to avoid potentially fatal side effects.

We wish Victoria Duval a quick and successful recovery, and we are yearning for her return to the tennis court to continue her amazing journey as one of the US tennis emerging star.   Stay Strong Vicky!!!

 

Marc Saint-Jour, M.D.

Ref:

Armitage, James O. Early-Stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, New England Journal of Medicine August 12, 2010 363(7):653

Fishman/Hoffman, Medicine, fifth edition

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Marc Saint-Jour
Marc is a physician, specialize in Internal Medicine. Marc is passionate about medicine, sports and politics. He is one of the founding board member of ForHopeInternational, an organization that seeks to empower Haitian health professionals (2009- Present). Marc will be writing mainly about medicine, healthcare and politics. Feel free to contact him via twitter, facebook and email.

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