Lymphoma in children – Types and symptoms

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the white blood cells in the lymphatic system, which covers the thymus gland, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. Eventually, lymphoma may also spread to other body parts. In the country, about 12% of all cancers among children are lymphomas. Based on the severity of the condition, doctors may suggest the necessary treatment course and prognosis. Here’s everything to know about lymphoma in children:

Types of lymphoma

Lymphoma has two main types or subcategories:

  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    This type of lymphoma almost always begins in the upper body, such as the neck, underarms, and chest. It is usually easier to diagnose and treat than the other type.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may begin anywhere in the body and is more common and difficult to diagnose than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Symptoms of lymphoma in children

The majority of children below age 14 grapple with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Here are some lymphoma symptoms to watch out for among children:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
    Swelling of the lymph nodes is synonymous with lymphoma, and this swelling may be visible in lymph nodes on the sides of the neck, in the underarms and groin, above the collarbone, etc.
  • Pain and inflammation in the abdomen
    Sometimes, lymphoma may develop in the abdominal lymph nodes, which can cause pain in the abdomen and swelling of the stomach. Children with lymphoma originating in the abdominal lymph nodes may experience loss of appetite, accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
  • Nodules or lumps on the skin
    If the lymphoma originates in the skin, one may find nodules or itchy lumps on the child’s skin surface. Although these lumps may also be signs of some other disease, they should not be ignored.
  • Sweating and fever
    Usually, lymphoma cells produce certain chemicals which increase body temperature. Consequently, those with lymphoma may experience sweating (particularly at night) and fever. Doctors may suggest surgery to eliminate the developing tumor from the body to the best extent possible. Once this process is completed, chemotherapy may be administered to remove any remnant cancer cells.