Lymph Node Cancer in Children


Lymph node cancer is also called lymphoma. There are mainly two types of lymphoma in children and adolescents: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It is more common that young children get Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and older children and adolescents get Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Lymph nodes are found, for example, on the neck, in the armpit, between the lungs, in the groins and at the large body pulmonary artery. Most children who get cancer of the lymph nodes get rid of the disease.


The most common symptom is that the baby gets  swollen lymph nodes . It does not usually hurt, but the glands feel clear and do not disappear after some time. Swollen lymph nodes can also be caused by things other than cancer, such as an infection. The child needs to be examined by a doctor who can determine the cause.

The doctor may need to take a tissue sample, also called a biopsy, from the swelling. If the test shows that it is cancer, the child may have blood tests and several other tests such as  computer tomography ,  magnetic camera  examination and  ultrasound examination .

It is also common for the doctor to want to check if the cancer has spread to the bone marrow, especially in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Then the  baby is asleep  . During the anesthesia, samples are taken from the hip bone comb, sometimes both in the form of a so-called puncture, where you take out liquid bone marrow, and a so-called drill biopsy, where you take a small piece of bone marrow tissue for analysis.

Treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma

If the child has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, treatment usually begins with the child receiving cytostatic treatment for two weeks and then an equal pause. In total, the child receives two, four or six treatment periods depending on the nature of the disease. The child can usually stay at home for most of the treatment. Some children also receive radiotherapy after the cytostatic treatment.

Some children with Hodgkin’s lymphoma may need more powerful treatment with cytostatics, a so-called high-dose treatment with stem cell support.

Treatment of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Cytostats are also used in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Then the treatment is more intensive and can last from a few months up to two years.

A child receiving intensive treatment may temporarily stay in the plant. When treatment is over, the child grows up again and usually does not become shorter than other children..

Cytostatic and fertility

Health care is trying to avoid such cytostatic drugs that have previously been shown to impair fertility. The child should still receive the help available to preserve  fertility after the cancer treatment . Sperm can be stored for freezing. It may also be possible to take all or part of an ovary and freeze it, but there you can consult with the doctor what possibilities are available.

Usually with post-checks for a long time

The child needs to go on post-check-ups quite often for several years, partly to find out if the illness is coming back, and partly to see how the child develops and the body functions after treatment. Children who have received radiotherapy and certain types of cytostatic drugs need to continue to go on controls even when they are adults.

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