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 non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children is determined by how much the cancer has affected the body. The most common treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma is chemotherapy but some children may receive radiation therapy.

If the non-Hodgkin lymphoma is very aggressive, a bone marrow transplant may be done. 

Fighting pediatric cancer and blood disorders

Our UW Health Kids Cancer Care specialists 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

Smiling child with signing UW Health Kids
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.

Locations

Care for your child

Receiving care from the UW Health Kids 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

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

    • Oncologists/hematologists

    • Nurse practitioners

    • Child Life specialists

    • Physical, occupational and speech therapists

    • Radiologists and radiation technologists

    • Social workers

    • Surgeons

    UW Health Kids Cancer Care specialists are dedicated to diagnosing and treating all infants, children and adolescents with cancer, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

    Our UW Health Kids 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.

    Our providers

    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)

    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