Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma. Lymphatic cancer in children

Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma. Lymphatic cancer in children

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The childhood Hodgkin lymphoma is a malignant disease characterized by the formation of cancer cells in the lymphatic system, responsible for the defense of the body against diseases. Know the symptoms as well as the diagnosis of lymphatic cancer in children.

We also tell you what is the best way to detect this cancer early in children and what tests are used in the diagnosis of this lymphatic cancer in children.

Lymphoma is a term we know to describe a cancer that begins in the cells of the lymphatic system. The childhood Hodgkin lymphoma is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lymphatic system of children.

There are two types of lymphoma: Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hodgkin lymphoma is often cured, while non-Hodgkin lymphoma will depend on the specific type of disease.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the third most common cancer in children (after leukemia and brain tumors), and is a type of cancer that forms in the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system, responsible for protecting the child's body from foreign substances, infections and diseases. The best way to detect this cancer early is to look at its possible signs and symptoms, and take children to the doctor when something is concerning.

Regular and thorough checkups are important for children, especially those with known risk factors for NHL, such as:

- Hereditary immune deficiencies

- Organ transplant or previous cancer treatment

- HIV infection

Among the most well-known symptoms of childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the following stand out:

- Enlarged lymph nodes (which look or feel like masses under the skin). This type of symptom usually presents as a non-painful enlargement of one or more lymph nodes, which causes the appearance of a lump usually located in the neck, the upper chest (seen if an X-ray is done), the armpit, the abdomen or the groin.

- Swelling of the abdomen.

- Feeling of a full belly after eating only a small amount of food.

- Cough or shortness of breath.

- Fever.

- Weightloss.

- Itchy skin

- Night sweats, while the child is asleep.

- Tiredness (feeling of being very fatigued and exhausted)

Children generally do not develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but it is important that parents and doctors are aware of the possible symptoms and signs of lymphoma. Suspecting that a child has lymphoma, some tests will be necessary to confirm this:

1. Blood test
Blood tests measure the amounts of certain types of cells and chemicals in the blood. These tests are not used to diagnose lymphoma, but they may be one of the first tests done in children with symptoms to help the doctor find out what is happening. If your child has been diagnosed with lymphoma, sometimes these tests can also help show how advanced the lymphoma is.

2. Medical history and physical examination
The doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how long they have been present. The doctor may also ask if there is a history of possible risk factors, such as problems with the immune system.

3. Biopsy
A doctor cannot diagnose non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a child based solely on symptoms or a physical exam. Most non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms can be caused by other problems such as infections, but they could also be caused by other types of cancer. The only way to confirm this is by removing some or all of the abnormal lymph node (or tumor) for examination under a microscope and other laboratory tests. This procedure is called a biopsy.

The biopsy can be surgical (excisional or incisional) or with a needle. The sample obtained will be observed under a microscope and a series of laboratory tests will be performed that can determine the type of lymphoma.

4. Imaging studies
Imaging tests use radiographs or x-rays, sound waves, magnetic fields, or radioactive substances to obtain images of the inside of the body. They are used to identify possible causes of certain symptoms (such as shortness of breath), help determine the stage (extent) of the lymphoma and indicate whether treatment is effective, and detect possible signs of lymphoma that returns after treatment.

Source consulted:
- National Cancer Institute (

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