Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children

Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children

Hodgkin lymphoma is a kind of cancer that impacts the lymphatic system. This highly sophisticated filtering system helps the body’s immune system remove bacteria, infections, and other unwanted compounds.

The lymphatic system consists of the lymph nodes (glands), thymus, spleen, tonsils, adenoids, and bone marrow, in addition to the channels (called lymphatics or lymph vessels) that connect them. When lymphoma occurs, cancer cells develop in a person’s lymphatic system and begin to grow uncontrollably.

The various types of lymphomas are organized into two broad categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphomas that involve a type of cell known as a Reed-Sternberg cell are categorized as Hodgkin lymphoma. The different subtypes of Hodgkin lymphoma are classified based on how the malignant tissue looks under a microscopic lense.

Lymphomas without Reed-Sternberg cells are normally categorized as non-Hodgkin lymphomas.

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 take a trip through the lymph vessels and into the lymph nodes where the lymphocytes destroy hazardous substances. The lymph goes into the blood through a big vein near the heart.

Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children

Risk Factors

Age is a risk reality for Hodgkin lymphoma– it has the tendency to mostly affect teens and people older than 55. It likewise can take place in people with severe immune shortages from things such as inherited immune defects, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, treatment with immunosuppressive drugs after organ transplants, or Epstein-Barr infection.

Normally, the causes of lymphoma are unidentified and no lifestyle factors have been absolutely connected to youth lymphomas.

So, neither parents nor kids have control over the things that cause the disease. A lot of lymphomas come from noninherited anomalies (mistakes) in the genes of growing blood cells. Nevertheless, there is an extremely a little increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma if other family members have had the disease. Routine pediatric checkups can in some cases spot early symptoms of lymphoma.

Symptoms and signs

The most typical first symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a pain-free augmentation of the lymph nodes (often called “swollen glands”) in the neck, the underarm area, or the groin.

If cancer includes the lymph nodes in the chest, pressure might set off an unexplained cough, shortness of breath, or issues in blood flow to and from the heart.

About a 3rd of patients have other nonspecific symptoms, consisting of tiredness (exhaustion), bad appetite, itching, or a rash. Unusual fever, night sweats, and weight-loss are likewise typical. Numerous patients have no other symptoms at all.

Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children


One of the important things medical professionals may look for if they presume lymphoma is augmentation of the lymph nodes. They might first attempt to treat swollen lymph nodes with antibiotics, because infections are the most typical cause of this.

However if the lymph nodes remain swollen, a child might be referred to an oncologist (cancer doctor), who may suggest imaging research studies and a biopsy (tissue sample) of the lymph nodes.

During a biopsy, a tiny bit of tissue is removed from the body and sent out to a laboratory for analysis. If Hodgkin lymphoma is believed, one of these biopsies might be done:

  • Core biopsy: the doctor uses a hollow needle to get rid of a percentage of tissue from the lymph node.
  • Excisional biopsy or incisional biopsy: the doctor opens the skin to get rid of the entire bigger lymph node (excisional) or just part of it (incisional).

Depending on the kind of biopsy purchased, the doctor might use regional anesthesia (where only a part of the body is numbed) or, most commonly, general anesthesia (where a patient is asleep) to make sure there is no pain.

If the doctor suspects Hodgkin lymphoma, more tests will be done to see if the cancer has actually spread. These can consist of:

  • blood tests
  • a chest X-ray
  • a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, a kind of X-ray that rotates around the patient and develops an image of the inside of the body from various angles
  • a bone marrow biopsy to look for cancer in the bone marrow
  • a positron emission tomography (ANIMAL) scan, which can tell the difference between normal and unusual cells


Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is extremely effective for a lot of kids. The choice of treatment is mostly figured out by staging. Staging is a method to classify or classify patients inning accordance with how extensive the disease is at the time of medical diagnosis.

There are four stages of lymphoma, ranging from Stage I (cancer including only one area of lymph nodes or only one organ outside the lymph nodes) to Stage IV (cancer has actually spread out, or metastasized, to several tissues or organs outside the lymphatic system). The stage at medical diagnosis can help doctor choose the best therapy and predict how someone with lymphoma will carry out in the long term.

Treatment might include radiation (making use of high-energy rays to shrink tumors and keep cancer cells from growing), chemotherapy (making use of extremely powerful medical drugs to kill cancer cells), or both, depending upon the type and stage of the cancer along with the age and overall health of the child.

For children whose cancer returns after treatment or who do not react well to treatment, physicians may do stem cell transplants (likewise called bone marrow transplants) to replace cells damaged by chemotherapy or radiation. These transplants include taking the cells from bone marrow or blood (either drawn from the patient or contributed by another individual) and transplanting them to the patient after chemo. There are likewise some really reliable drugs that have helped improve the opportunities of a treatment.

Scientists are continuously dealing with brand-new treatments for cancer. Some parents enroll their child in medical trials, which are methods to test brand-new cancer treatments or compare their efficiency with existing treatments. If your child has Hodgkin lymphoma, the doctor can tell you whether this is a smart idea for the type he or she has.

Short-Term and Long-Term Side Effects

Treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma is powerful. It ruins great cells in addition to bad, which can develop particular side effects.

Extensive lymphoma treatment impacts the bone marrow, triggering anemia and easy bleeding, and increasing the risk for serious infections. Chemotherapy treatments have side effects– some short-term (such as loss of hair, increased infection risk, and nausea and vomiting) and some long-lasting (such as heart, thyroid, and kidney damage, reproductive issues, or the development of another cancer later in life)– that parents ought to go over with the doctor.


Most of kids with Hodgkin lymphoma are treated, meaning they will have long-term cancer-free survival. However, those with higher-stage disease are at risk for more long-lasting side effects as an outcome of more extensive treatment.

After treatment is completed, it is necessary for anybody who has actually had Hodgkin lymphoma to have regular checkups throughout life to look for recurrence of the lymphoma and for late side effects of treatment.

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