Pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer of the white blood cells that develops within the lymphatic system. It begins in the lymph nodes of the neck or chest and then spreads from one part of the lymphatic system to another. In Hodgkin lymphoma, the tumors usually contain unique cells called Reed-Sternberg cells. These large cancer cells are not seen in other lymphomas.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Hodgkin lymphoma signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma can include:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Fever and night sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Frequent viral infections 

  • Itchy skin 

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes 

  • Weight loss or decreased appetite


If Hodgkin lymphoma is suspected, your child’s medical history will be reviewed, and a full physical examination will be done. Your child’s doctor will then remove a sample of tissue while your child is under general anesthesia. This is called a lymph node biopsy

Other tests that might be done include:


Hodgkin lymphoma treatment

Treatment for pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma can include:

Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders

UW Health | Carbone Cancer Center specialists offer the most advanced treatment options. Our pediatric cancer and blood disorder experts are national research leaders. We test new therapies and continue to work on therapies for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. For many children with rare or hard-to-treat conditions, clinical trials provide new options.

Search our clinical trials for pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma

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UW Health Kids
Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.


Care for your child

Receiving care from the UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant program at American Family Children’s Hospital means you have access to the knowledge and skills of many medical and support specialists for your child’s complex health diagnosis like cancer.

Meet our team

An experienced team providing your child with the care they deserve

Our UW Health Kids | Carbone Cancer Center pediatric oncologists are part of the UW Carbone Cancer which is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. This designation means that our doctors taking care of your child are experts in cancer treatment, research and education.

Pediatric hematology and oncology

Patient and support services

You’re never alone

When your child needs hospitalization, they will be admitted to American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wis.

Child life specialists help your child and family cope with any fears and anxieties. The American Family Children's Hospital patient and family visitor guide features information about:

  • Hero beads

  • Hospital school

  • Positive Image Center

  • Restoring Hope Transplant House (for blood and bone marrow transplant)

  • Spiritual care services

  • Tyler's Place (sibling child care)

Additional resources

Pediatric cancer services

With our expertise comes compassion. Our team considers you and your child part of our family. We will be by your side every step of the way. From diagnosis through treatment and into adulthood, we will care for your child as if they are our own.

Learn more