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Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 3, 2023.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system contains lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and glands, such as the spleen and thymus. Lymph vessels carry lymph fluid throughout the body. Lymph fluid contains lymphocytes (white blood cells) that help fight infection and disease. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma causes lymphocytes to grow and divide without control and to form tumors. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can develop in any lymph tissue in the body. Common places are lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, and chest. Cancer cells can travel from lymph node to lymph node and spread through the body. Childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma usually affects older children. Some types are rare in children of any age.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your child has chest pain.
  • Your child has more trouble breathing than usual.
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child cannot think clearly, or feels confused.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child is too dizzy to stand, or has trouble keeping his or her balance.
  • Your child's legs swell.
  • Your child feels weak or numb on one side of his or her body.

Call your child's oncologist if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has back pain and weakness in his or her legs.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, red or swollen skin, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child is vomiting and cannot keep any food or liquids down.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Care for your child:

  • Have your child rest as needed. Your child should return to activities slowly, and do more as he or she feels stronger.
  • Offer your child a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods include vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, nuts, whole-grain breads and cereals. Healthy foods will help your child get the protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients his or her body needs. You may need to change the foods your child eats depending on his or her treatments and side effects. Your child may also need to eat more calories than usual. Work with a dietitian to plan the best meals and snacks for your child. Ask if your child should take vitamins.
    Healthy Foods
  • Keep your child away from people who have a cold or the flu. Also try to keep your child away from large groups of people to decrease his or her risk.
  • Talk to your older child about not smoking. Talk to your healthcare provider if your child needs help quitting. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Ask your child's healthcare provider for information before your child uses these products.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Follow up with your child's oncologist as directed:

Your child will need to see his or her oncologist for ongoing treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Treatment options

Care guides

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.