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Lymphoma in Children and Adolescents

Lymphoma is a cancer that can affect children and adolescents. Some children who are diagnosed with lymphoma will have Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and are often treated with combinations of chemotherapy and radiation. The others will have Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), which may require more complex treatment regimens.

Warning signs and risk factors

Warning signs and risk factors for lymphoma are similar in children and adolescents as well as in adults. Symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes, which may or may not be painless
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of energy
  • Itchiness
While most children with these complaints do not have lymphoma, anyone with persistent symptoms should see their doctor to be certain lymphoma is not present. Although the causes of lymphoma remain unknown, the following may increase the risk of childhood or adolescent lymphomas:

  • Family history (though no hereditary pattern has been firmly established)
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Receipt of an organ transplant
  • Exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers or solvents
  • Infection with viruses such as Epstein-Barr, human T-lymphotropic virus type 1, HIV, hepatitis C, or certain bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori


The Lymphoma Research Foundation understands how important it is to find as much support as possible when you or a young loved one is diagnosed with lymphoma. You can contact our Helpline to talk to a trained professional about questions you may have about any type of lymphoma, treatments, clinical trials, coping, and more. We can also connect you to others who may be in a similar situation to yours through the Lymphoma Support Network.



In-person Educational Programs
Support Programs

View or order the following publications from our booklets/factsheets webpage:
Adolescents and Young Adults
• Understanding Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Guide for Patients, Survivors and Loved Ones

There are a number of helpful web sites that feature assistance for children and their families as well as active online communities of young adults with lymphoma. Here are some places to start: Resources for Children or Resources for Teens.

Links from the National Cancer Institute:
Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

Lymphoma Helpline

Professional staff members are available to answer your questions and provide individual support to you and your loved ones. Contact our Helpline, available Monday through Friday from 8:00am - 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time (PST). Call (800) 500-9976 or e-mail.