Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma—Child

Definition

Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. This system drains excess fluid from the tissue. It also helps protect against infections. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a general name that applies to many types of lymphomas, which are based on:

  • The type of cell that is involved
  • The patterns of growth

In general, there are 2 main groups:

  • Slow growing lymphomas
  • Aggressive lymphomas

These cancers are different from Hodgkin lymphoma . This is another type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.

The Lymphatic System
IMAGE
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

The exact cause is not known. Mutations in genes may be related to this cancer.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors include:

  • History of chemotherapy and radiation therapy
  • Infections involving the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or Epstein-Barr virus
  • Chronic hepatitis C infection
  • Genetic conditions, such as ataxia telangiectasia, X-linked lymphoproliferative disease, or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
  • A parent with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, especially if they had it at an early age

Symptoms

Symptoms may vary greatly in each child. Symptoms may include:

  • Painless swelling of the neck, underarm, groin, or any other lymph node area
  • Unexplained fever
  • Sore throat
  • Infections
  • Sweating
  • Constant fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itchy skin, especially on the legs and feet
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will include an exam of the lymph nodes.

Your child's bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:

Your child's body structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:

Treatment

Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and its type. Talk with the doctor and the healthcare team about the best plan for your child. Treatment options include:

Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream, then travel through the body killing mostly cancer cells. With radiation therapy , radiation is directed at the tumor to kill the cancer cells.

Transplantations

Your child may have a transplant procedure, such as:

  • Bone marrow transplantation —Bone marrow is removed, treated, and frozen. Large doses of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are applied to kill the cancer cells. After treatment, the bone marrow is replaced via a vein. Marrow may also be donated from a healthy donor.
  • Peripheral stem cell transplant—Stem cells are immature cells that produce blood cells. They are removed from circulating blood before chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The cells are replaced after treatment. These cells can develop new healthy cells.

Biological Therapy

These medicines are designed after the body's natural cancer-fighting mechanisms. They increase or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. One type of biological therapy, interferons, interferes with the division of cancer cells and can slow tumor growth.

Sometimes a drug or antibody that is directed at the lymphoma is linked to a radioactive substance. It will deliver a focused dose of radiation to the tumor.

Prevention

There is no known way to prevent this form of cancer.

Revisions

Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Allegiance Health or performed by Allegiance Health physicians.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at HLEditorialTeam@ebscohost.com.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

Make your bathroom safer by adding non-slip mats or rubber decals to your tub, keeping the floor around your tub dry and using a non-skid bath mat outside the tub.