Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in children. Here is information about the various signs and symptoms of lymphoma that you should be aware of.
Lymphoma is one of the major types of cancer. As you know, cancer occurs when a malignant tumor is formed due to abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. Cancerous growth (tumor) can arise in any part of the body. The uncontrolled cell division then invades other tissues and destroys them. Cancerous cells travel to other parts of the body through the blood or lymph and affect the whole body. It should be noted that not all tumors are malignant. Non-cancerous tumors are known as benign tumors.
There are several types of cancers, viz., carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, leukemia, etc. These major types of cancer are usually life-threatening. If detected and treated at an early stage, it can be controlled up to some extent. Lymphoma is one of the major types of cancer found in people all over the world.
What is Lymphoma?
It is the cancer of lymphocytes of the immune system of the body. In case of lymphoma, a malignant tumor may form in any part of the lymphatic system, like the lymph glands (or lymph nodes), spleen, thymus, adenoids, etc. It originates only in the lymphatic system. Depending upon the appearance of the malignant cells, lymphoma is categorized into Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancerous cells spread systematically from one lymph node to another. Hodgkin’s disease is also distinguished by the presence of specific types of cells, known as the Reed-Sternberg cells. In case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Reed-Sternberg cells are completely absent.
Symptoms in Children
- Continued weight loss (without any noticeable reason)
- Lumps, swelling, or mass in joints, armpits
- Weakness or tiredness
- Swelling of face
- Excess sweating at night
- Difficulty in breathing
- Frequent and persistent fever
- Constant infections
Swelling in the lymph nodes, without noticeable pain, is the most common symptom of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The swelling originates in the neck and spreads to the lymph nodes in other joints like the groin, or armpits.
- Weight loss
- Night sweat
- Severe itching
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is more common in children below 10 years of age. There are several possible symptoms that appear depending upon the location of the tumor.
- Pain in abdomen
- Respiratory problems
- Joint pain
- Night sweat
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
If the above symptoms are observed, you should take your child to the doctor immediately. After examination, the doctor will advise tests like the CBC (complete blood count), CT scan, and X-ray. For further treatment, you should visit an oncologist. Similar to other cancer types, lymphoma treatment includes antibiotics, chemotherapy, radiation, or bone marrow transplants.
One should remember that the treatment of cancer depends upon the type and progression of the disease. Therefore, symptoms should be identified as early as possible to prevent the spread of the disease further.
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for doctor’s advice.