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What is Childhood Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a name for a group of cancers of the lymphatic system, part of the body's immune defense system. It can occur when an error takes place in the way a lymphocyte is produced. The resulting abnormal cells accumulate either by duplicating faster or living longer than normal cells, and they displace normal lymphocytes.

Like normal lymphocytes, cancerous lymphocytes can grow in many parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow or blood. Because there is lymph tissue throughout the body, the cancer cells may spread to other organs.

Lymphoma is rare in children. Childhood and adult lymphomas differ from each other in that childhood lymphomas tend to respond to treatment differently than adult lymphomas.

Types of Childhood Lymphoma

There are a number of different forms of childhood lymphoma, whose symptoms, rate of spread, pattern of spread and treatment vary.

The two main types of cancer of the lymphatic system are: