Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It helps to fight diseases and infections. The lymphatic system also helps with balancing fluids in different parts of the body. The lymphatic system includes:
Hodgkin lymphoma causes abnormal growth of the cells in the lymphatic system. Over time, the body is less able to fight infection and the lymph nodes swell. Hodgkin lymphoma cells can also spread (metastasize) to other organs and tissues. It’s a rare disease in children. It affects boys more often than girls.
The exact cause of Hodgkin lymphoma is not known. Genes and some viral infections may increase a child’s risk of having Hodgkin lymphoma. Conditions that are linked to Hodgkin lymphoma are listed below. But because Hodgkin lymphoma is so rare, the risk is still very low.
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
The symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your child's medical history and symptoms. He or she will examine your child. Your child may have tests such as:
Part of diagnosing cancer is called staging. Staging is the process of seeing if the cancer has spread, and where it has spread. Staging also helps to decide the treatment. There are different ways of staging used for Hodgkin lymphoma. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the stage of your child's cancer. One method of staging Hodgkin lymphoma is the following:
Staging also includes whether a child has certain symptoms, and includes:
Most children with Hodgkin lymphoma are treated successfully and cured. Treatment will depend on the stage and other factors. Hodgkin lymphoma can be treated with any of the below:
Your child will need follow-up care during and after treatment to:
Some treatments may be hard on your child, but they increase the chance of your child living a long time. Discuss the side effects of treatment with your child's healthcare provider.
With any cancer, how well a child is expected to recover (prognosis) varies. Keep in mind:
Possible complications depend on the type and stage of the lymphoma. They include:
Treatment may also cause complications. They include:
You can help your child manage his or her treatment in many ways. For example:
Call the healthcare provider if your child has:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
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