Overview

About pediatric Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is a disease where cancer cells form in the lymphatic system and start to grow uncontrollably.  As they grow, they affect the body’s ability to fight infection.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Recognizing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma signs and symptoms

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma may include:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Fever and night sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Frequent viral infections 

  • Itchy skin 

  • Painless swelling of lymph nodes 

  • Weight loss or decreased appetite

Diagnosis

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

Other tests that might be done include:

Treatment

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) treatment

Treatment for pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma is determined by how much the cancer has affected the body. The most common treatment for NHL is chemotherapy (link to chemotherapy treatment page) but some children may receive radiation therapy (link to radiation therapy treatment page)

If the non-Hodgkin lymphoma is very aggressive, a bone marrow transplant (link to BMT treatment page) may be done. 

Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders

At UW Health, we 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

Locations

Care for your child

Receiving care from the pediatric 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.

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  • American Family Children's Hospital - Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
    • 1675 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-6420
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  • American Family Children's Hospital - Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant
    • 1675 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 263-6420
    • Closed now
    •  
      View hours, services and more

Meet our team

An experienced team providing your child with the care they deserve

Your child’s care is our top priority and we understand the unique needs they have. Your child’s team will include:

  • Oncologists (cancer doctors)

  • Hematologists (blood disease doctors)

  • Nurse practitioners

  • Child Life specialists

  • Pain management specialists

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

  • Radiologists and radiation technologists

  • Social workers

  • Surgeons

UW Health’s pediatric oncologists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

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

We care for your child as if they are our own

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

Patient and support services

You’re never alone

There are services available at both American Family Children’s Hospital and in the community to help patients and their families through every step of their journey.

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

  • Health psychology

  • Hero beads

  • Hospital school

  • Positive Image Center

  • Spiritual care services

  • Tyler's Place (sibling child care)