Hodgkin lymphoma is a growth of abnormal white blood cells that form tumors in the lymph system. The lymph system includes the lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and other parts your immune system. This disease can occur in one lymph node, in a group of nodes, or in an organ. It can then spread to almost any part of your child's body.
Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the many types of lymphoma. Other types of lymphomas are called non-Hodgkin lymphomas. The type of lymphoma is determined by how the cancer cells look under a microscope.
Hodgkin lymphoma, sometimes called Hodgkin disease, is one of the most curable cancers. The sooner cancer is found and treated, the better your child's chances for recovery. However, even advanced cancer can usually be treated. Treatment may slow or stop the growth of the cancer and ease symptoms for a time. Ask your healthcare provider what you can expect with the type of cancer that your child has.
The exact cause of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is unknown. Unlike normal white blood cells, the abnormal white cells caused by non-Hodgkin lymphoma don't protect your body from infections or other diseases.
Hodgkin lymphoma is most common in teens, adults up to age 35 and adults age 55 and older.
There is a slightly higher risk for Hodgkin lymphoma if:
Symptoms may include:
Your child's healthcare provider will ask about symptoms and examine your child. Your child may have a lymph node biopsy, which uses a needle passed through the skin to take a small sample of tissue for testing. If Hodgkin lymphoma is found, more tests will be done to learn the stage or the extent of the disease. These tests may include:
You and your healthcare provider will discuss possible treatments for your child. You may also talk with a cancer specialist. Treatment decisions will take into account:
Possible treatments are:
Your child's treatment will also include:
Often, more than 1 type of treatment is used. Your child will need to have regular follow-up visits with his or her healthcare provider.
Ask your healthcare provider about clinical trials that might be available to your child. Clinical trials are research studies to find effective cancer treatments. It’s always your choice whether your child takes part in one or not.
If your child has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma:
It may also help if your child:
Counseling and support groups can help children and parents cope with the situation and help the family adjust to the changes in their lives.
Your child should:
For more information, contact: