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Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment

General Information About Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymph system.

The lymph system is part of the immune system and is made up of the following:


Anatomy of the lymph system, showing the lymph vessels and lymph organs including lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Lymph (clear fluid) and lymphocytes travel through the lymph vessels and into the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes destroy harmful substances. The lymph enters the blood through a large vein near the heart.
Anatomy of the lymph system, showing the lymph vessels and lymph organs including lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. Lymph (clear fluid) and lymphocytes travel through the lymph vessels and into the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes destroy harmful substances. The lymph enters the blood through a large vein near the heart.

Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma can begin in almost any part of the body. Cancer can spread to the liver and many other organs and tissues.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can occur in both adults and children. Treatment for children is different than treatment for adults. (See the PDQ summary on Adult Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment for more information on treatment in adults.)

There are four major types of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The specific type of lymphoma is determined by how the cells look under a microscope. The 4 major types of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma are:

There are other types of lymphoma that occur in children. These include the following:

Possible signs of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma include breathing problems and swollen lymph nodes.

These and other symptoms may be caused by childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:

Tests that examine the body and lymph system are used to detect (find) and diagnose childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The following tests and procedures may be used:

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on: