About

Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma


About Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed in two different age groups: young adults from age 15-19, and adults over age 50. Fortunately, there have been many advances in treating HL, and this cancer is regarded as one of the most treatable; most people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma will be long-term survivors.


Hodgkin lymphoma occurs in the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system and helps to fight infection and illness naturally. This disease typically begins in the B lymphocytes that are responsible for making antibodies to protect your body from viruses and bacteria. However, because lymph tissue and B lymphocytes are present in many parts of your body, HL can affect a variety of organs.

The immune system comprises the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes (or glands). The most usual place for HL to start is in the lymph nodes in the neck. The other lymph nodes that HL is most likely to affect are in the upper part of the body – in the axilla, groin, above the collar bone, and inside the chest. HL usually spreads from one lymph node to another. Late in the disease it can invade the bloodstream and spread to other organs, though this is rare.

Many people who get HL have few risk factors or none at all. However, a few risk factors have been identified:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis (mono), and people who have had mono are at an increased risk for HL. However, this risk is still small – about 1 in 1,000.

  • Age

While HL can be diagnosed at any age, it is most common in early adulthood and in late adulthood (over age 55).

  • Gender

Although the difference is slight, HL occurs more frequently in males than in females.

  • Family history

Siblings of young people with HL have a higher risk for developing the disease. The identical twin of a person with HL is at the highest risk.

  • Weakened immune system

If you suffer from a compromised immune system (for example, due to HIV infection or taking medicines to suppress the immune system after an organ transplant), your risk for HL is higher. People with autoimmune diseases are also at a slightly elevated risk.

Your child can feel perfectly well and still have HL, however there are some common symptoms that may be experienced:

  • Lump(s) under the skin – this is the most usual symptom, typically found under the arm, in the neck, or in the groin. The lump is an enlarged lymph node, and it does not generally cause pain. (Be aware that HL is not the most common cause of lymph node swelling, and most of the time the inflammation is a sign of an infection. A doctor will perform testing to diagnose the reason for the swelling.)
  • B symptoms – some people who have HL suffer from fever without an infection (this can come and go over weeks), unexplained weight loss, and drenching night sweats. This group of symptoms is significant for staging HL.
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue, feeling tired all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble breathing, cough, chest pain; these symptoms can be caused by swollen lymph nodes pressing against your trachea

There are two types of Hodgkin lymphoma, which grow and spread differently and are usually not treated in the same way:

  1. Classic Hodgkin lymphoma is the more common type, accounting for at least 9 in 10 cases of HL. In this disease, the cancer cells are called Reed-Sternberg cells, which are usually an abnormal type of B lymphocyte. In classic HL, enlarged lymph nodes generally have a small number of Reed-Sternberg cells and many normal immune cells that cause the inflammation.
  2. Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (LPHL) is a rare type of the disease, affecting only about 5% of patients. LPHL tends to grow more slowly and typically requires less intensive treatment. Children with LPHL may have a single swollen lymph node or a group of swollen nodes in only one area of the body. LPHL is usually diagnosed at an early stage and it is rarely life-threatening, although it has been linked with developing a more aggressive form of lymphoma (non-Hodgkin lymphoma).

What is Hodgkin lymphoma?

Hodgkin lymphoma occurs in the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system and helps to fight infection and illness naturally. This disease typically begins in the B lymphocytes that are responsible for making antibodies to protect your body from viruses and bacteria. However, because lymph tissue and B lymphocytes are present in many parts of your body, HL can affect a variety of organs.

The immune system comprises the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes (or glands). The most usual place for HL to start is in the lymph nodes in the neck. The other lymph nodes that HL is most likely to affect are in the upper part of the body – in the axilla, groin, above the collar bone, and inside the chest. HL usually spreads from one lymph node to another. Late in the disease it can invade the bloodstream and spread to other organs, though this is rare.

 

What are the risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma?

Many people who get HL have few risk factors or none at all. However, a few risk factors have been identified:

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis (mono), and people who have had mono are at an increased risk for HL. However, this risk is still small – about 1 in 1,000.

  • Age

While HL can be diagnosed at any age, it is most common in early adulthood and in late adulthood (over age 55).

  • Gender

Although the difference is slight, HL occurs more frequently in males than in females.

  • Family history

Siblings of young people with HL have a higher risk for developing the disease. The identical twin of a person with HL is at the highest risk.

  • Weakened immune system

If you suffer from a compromised immune system (for example, due to HIV infection or taking medicines to suppress the immune system after an organ transplant), your risk for HL is higher. People with autoimmune diseases are also at a slightly elevated risk.

 

What are the symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma in children?

Your child can feel perfectly well and still have HL, however there are some common symptoms that may be experienced:

  • Lump(s) under the skin – this is the most usual symptom, typically found under the arm, in the neck, or in the groin. The lump is an enlarged lymph node, and it does not generally cause pain. (Be aware that HL is not the most common cause of lymph node swelling, and most of the time the inflammation is a sign of an infection. A doctor will perform testing to diagnose the reason for the swelling.)
  • B symptoms – some people who have HL suffer from fever without an infection (this can come and go over weeks), unexplained weight loss, and drenching night sweats. This group of symptoms is significant for staging HL.
  • Itchy skin
  • Fatigue, feeling tired all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble breathing, cough, chest pain; these symptoms can be caused by swollen lymph nodes pressing against your trachea

 

How many types of Hodgkin lymphoma are there?

There are two types of Hodgkin lymphoma, which grow and spread differently and are usually not treated in the same way:

  1. Classic Hodgkin lymphoma is the more common type, accounting for at least 9 in 10 cases of HL. In this disease, the cancer cells are called Reed-Sternberg cells, which are usually an abnormal type of B lymphocyte. In classic HL, enlarged lymph nodes generally have a small number of Reed-Sternberg cells and many normal immune cells that cause the inflammation.
  2. Lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (LPHL) is a rare type of the disease, affecting only about 5% of patients. LPHL tends to grow more slowly and typically requires less intensive treatment. Children with LPHL may have a single swollen lymph node or a group of swollen nodes in only one area of the body. LPHL is usually diagnosed at an early stage and it is rarely life-threatening, although it has been linked with developing a more aggressive form of lymphoma (non-Hodgkin lymphoma).

 

top 10 banner 1

Get Consultation Now

Get Consultation Now

By submitting this form you agree to have your information used for consultation purposes only in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

CONTACT US

Get Consultation


By submitting this form you agree to have your information used for consultation purposes only in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Request a consultation