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Lymphoma is the third most common form of childhood cancer, after leukemia and brain tumors. It can occur at any age. There are two general types of lymphoma seen in children: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. While a diagnosis of lymphoma sounds scary, innovations in therapy for this disease have made these diseases highly treatable and curable in many instances.
The University of Chicago Medicine is home to one of the most respected and recognized cancer programs in the nation. Our multidisciplinary pediatric cancer care team has the expertise and resources to provide comprehensive evaluation, treatment and management of lymphoma in infants, young children and adolescents. And the same physicians who take care of our pediatric lymphoma patients are the ones who are developing new ways to treat the disease with chemotherapy, targeted therapies and stem cell transplants. Our goal is to maintain excellent cure rates while minimizing the side effects of treatment.
Lymphoma generally begins in a lymph node. When a child has lymphoma, his or her lymphatic cells reproduce abnormally, interfering with the body's ability to fight infection. Because lymph tissue is found throughout the body, the cancer can start anywhere and spread to other tissues and organs. The cause of lymphoma is unknown; however, children born with conditions that affect the immune system are at a higher risk for the disease.
The two forms of childhood lymphoma are:
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma tends to occur in young children and is more common in boys than girls. Hodgkin lymphoma is seen more often in adolescents and affects boys and girls equally.
Signs and symptoms vary in patients. Some of the more common symptoms of pediatric lymphomas include:
The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital is home to one of the most respected and recognized cancer programs in the nation.
Our multidisciplinary pediatric cancer care team has the expertise and resources to provide comprehensive evaluation, treatment and management of lymphoma in infants, young children and adolescents. And the same physicians who take care of our pediatric lymphoma patients are the ones who are developing new ways to treat the disease with chemotherapy, targeted therapies and stem cell transplants, with the goal of maintaining excellent cure rates while minimizing the side effects of treatment.
Children facing cancer often have ongoing medical, emotional, social and developmental needs. Our doctors, nurses and other health care professionals recognize these issues and provide resources and tools to help patients and families cope and stay informed.
While most lymphoma patients are cured, some may face other complex health problems as they grow older. Our Childhood Cancer Survivors Center is an integrated program aimed at the prevention and treatment of long-term health issues associated with cancer therapy.
Our pediatric cancer physicians and researchers are members of the world-famous University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center — a consortium of select centers leading the nation in cancer research and providing patients with more effective health care. These teams of researchers work collaboratively, across scientific disciplines, to explore and develop innovative ways to fight and cure cancer. Because of our high level of expertise and access to the latest therapies, patients from the Midwest, the nation and around the world come to our cancer program for treatment. Frequently, our patients participate in clinical trials that use agents and approaches that are not available elsewhere. Our overall approach is to customize therapy for each patient to maximize the likelihood of cure.
Through UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, our pediatric cancer specialists are part of an outstanding and extensive team of laboratory scientists, caregivers, clinical researchers and trainees who work collaboratively to unlock the mysteries behind all types of cancer and develop solutions for each individual cancer patient.
Comer Children's scientists have been leaders in changing treatment protocols for adolescents and young adults with leukemia, lymphoma and other hematologic malignancies. This research helped lay the foundation for our Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program. Serving patients ages 15 through 30 with leukemia, lymphoma, and other cancers, the program recognizes the unique medical, social and emotional challenges that this population faces and provides specialized, coordinated care. Our team of pediatric and adult hematologists/oncologists develops individualized treatment plans that help patients experience a life that is not limited by their diagnosis, and include the support of social workers, psychologists, physical therapists and fertility specialists.