Childhood lymphoma

This entry looks childhood lymphoma. 'Lymphoma' is an umbrella term that loosely refers to several dozen independent categorical types and subtypes of cancers of the lymphatic system.

'Childhood lymphoma' by itself is not a diagnosis; rather, there are four major lymphoma subtypes that make up the category of childhood lymphoma, along with a number of less common subtypes that have been diagnosed in children.

The Four Major Subtypes of Childhood Lymphoma

The major subtypes are:

Burkitt (and Burkitt-like) B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Burkitt's is one of the fastest-growing cancers known to medicine. Despite this—rather, on account of it—Burkitt's is treatable and often curable if caught early enough.

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
DLBCL is the most frequently diagnosed NHL among adults. It is treatable and, in some circumstances, curable.

Lymphoblastic lymphoma
LBL is now considered the same disease—morphologically and genetically—as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This can affect either the T-cells or the B-cells.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma
ALCL is an aggressive cancer that, unlike the previous three cancers, typically affects the T-cells, making it much more difficult to treat successfully.

Prognosis of Childhood Lymphoma

Prognosis for childhood lymphoma—and for any lymphoma, and for virtually any cancer—is highly dependent on a variety of factors, including:

  • -- Which lymphoma subtype is diagnosed
  • -- What stage the disease is in at diagnosis
  • -- The number of extra-lymphatic sites that are affected
  • -- The overall health of the patient
  • -- Whether the disease has reached the central nervous system

Sources

  • National Cancer Institute
  • Medscape reference
  • MacMillan Cancer Support

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