"Parents know their child in ways we can never know the child, while we have a wealth of experience of helping kids through cancer treatment. Between us, we figure out the best way for all of us to support their child."
Amy L. Billett, MD, director of Lymphoma Program, Boston Children's Hospital
Learning that your child has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system, is a frightening and life-changing experience for any parent. We are here to work with you, your child and your family through every moment of your journey.
As difficult as coping with your child’s cancer can be, it’s important to remember that there is cause for hope: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a very treatable cancer, and more than 80 percent of children are cured.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma isn’t one disease—it’s a group of many different diseases that share some similarities in terms of how the cells look under a microscope and that they all start in lymph tissue.The non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a diverse group of blood cancers that include any kind of lymphoma except Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare disease that occurs in one out of every 100 thousand children per year in the United States.
- It is the third most common childhood cancer.
- It accounts for 7 percent of childhood cancer.
- It causes the cells in a child’s lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually causing tumors to grow.
- Lymphoma cells can spread throughout the body. Common sites of spread include other lymph nodes, liver, spleen, bone marrow, spinal fluid, and lung.
- Children with non-Hodgkin lymphoma are usually treated with chemotherapy. A few kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma can be treated with surgery alone.
- Reed-Sternberg cells are always seen in Hodgkin lymphoma and can rarely occur in non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Care (DF/CHCC) non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Program utilizes the expertise of both Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to treat children and adolescents with all forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Specialists from Children’s work closely with the experts at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to ensure that every aspect of your child’s health is overseen before, during and after his treatment period. Our multidisciplinary approach is used at every step of care, including reading x-rays, interpreting the diagnosis and making clinical decisions. We understand each child is different, and we take a multidisciplinary approach to make sure we are delivering the best care possible for your child.
|The New Normal|
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Reviewed by Amy L. Billett, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; 2011