Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that causes cells in the lymphatic system to abnormally reproduce, eventually making the body less able to fight infection. It is the most common cancer in people ages 15 to 19, and also one of the most treatable.
Distinguished from other types of lymphoma by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, Hodgkin lymphoma usually begins in the lymph nodes of one part of a child’s body, usually the head, neck or chest, and then tends to spread in a predictable manner from one part of the lymphatic system to the next. In advanced stages, the disease can spread to the lungs, liver, bones, bone marrow or other organs.
There are two types of Hodgkin's lymphoma:
Children and young adults with Hodgkin's lymphoma are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center through our Lymphoma Program. Continue reading to learn more about Hodgkin's lymphoma or visit the Lymphoma Program homepage to learn about our expertise and treatment options for this condition.
The symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma include:
In addition to a complete physical examination, doctors diagnose Hodgkin's lymphoma with:
After all tests are completed, doctors will be able to outline the best treatment options.
Treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma may include the following, alone or in combination:
Treatment of recurrent Hodgkin's lymphoma depends on where the disease recurs, previous treatments and the time since the first treatment was completed. These treatments include:
Dana-Farber/Boston Children's has one of the largest and most experienced pediatric stem cell transplant programs in the United States. Watch Dr. Leslie Lehmann explain how stem cell transplants work.