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by Krisha McCoy, MS and Rebecca J. Stahl, MA
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:
In general, there are 2 main groups:
These cancers are different from Hodgkin lymphoma. This is another type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
The exact cause is not known. Mutations in genes may be related to this cancer.
Risk Factors TOP
Some risk factors include:
Symptoms may vary greatly in each child. Symptoms may include:
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 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.
Your child may have a transplant procedure, such as:
Biological Therapy TOP
These medications 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.
There is no known way to prevent this form of cancer.
American Cancer Society
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Lymphoma Foundation Canada
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in children. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated March 7, 2014. Accessed March 10, 2016.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed March 10, 2016.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 5, 2016. Accessed September 29 , 2016.
2/5/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed...: Kharazmi E, Fallah M, Sundquist K, et al. Familial risk of early and late onset cancer: nationwide prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2012;345:e8076.
Last reviewed March 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
Last Updated: 5/5/2014
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