Lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. This system drains excess fluid from the tissue. It also helps protect against infections. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a general name that applies to many types of lymphomas, which are based on:
In general, there are two main groups:
These cancers are different from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is another type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
The Lymphatic System
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The exact cause is not known. Mutations in genes may be related to this cancer.
Some risk factors include:
Symptoms may vary greatly in each child. Symptoms may include:
If your child has any of these symptoms, tell the doctor right away.
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. It will include an exam of the lymph nodes. Most enlarged or swollen lymph nodes result from an infection.
If swelling persists, the doctor may order more tests, such as:
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 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:
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.
There is no known way to prevent this form of cancer.
American Cancer Society
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Canadian Cancer Society
Lymphoma Foundation Canada
American Cancer Society. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in children. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Updated July 8, 2009. Accessed July 7, 2010.
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin website. Available at: http://www.chw.org/display/PPF/DocID/21526/router.asp . Accessed July 7, 2010.
DynaMed Editorial Team. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 25, 2010. Accessed July 7, 2010.
McCoy K. Adult non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated October 2009. Accessed July 7, 2010.
2/5/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : 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 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 3/1/2013