Contact Us | Location
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

What are the stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children?

What are the stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children?

What are the stages of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in children?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a form of childhood cancer that begins in lymphatic tissue that make up part of the immune system, which is responsible for fighting infection and disease.  As with other forms of childhood cancer (and adult cancers as well), the cancer cells responsible for non-Hodgkin lymphoma begin their development in one area of the body, usually an organ responsible for assisting the immune system such as the lymph nodes or the spleen, but as they grow and multiply, the cancer can spread to other areas of the body as well.  Unfortunately, non-Hodgkin lymphoma often does not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease, and therefore can be difficult to detect until it has grown and spread.  However, once the disease has been diagnosed through a biopsy or other diagnostic tool, pediatric oncologists will measure the spread of the disease to determine the proper treatment.

The extent to which the cancer has spread is known as “stages”.  “Staging” often requires physical examinations, biopsies, and imaging tests such as CT scan, PET scan, and occasionally ultrasounds or other imaging tools.  The most common system for staging Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children is the St. Jude staging system (staging adult lymphoma utilizes the Ann Arbor system.)

The St. Jude staging system breaks down the spread of the cancer into four distinct stages:

Stage 1: The lymphoma is located in only one area of the body, such as one area of lymph nodes (the neck, groin, or armpit) or exists as a single tumor not in the lymph nodes.  Cancer cells are not present in the chest or abdomen.

Stage 2: Lymphoma is not in the chest, and meets one of the following criteria:

  • A single tumor that has spread to only one collection of lymph nodes in the neck, groin, or underarm;
  • Multiple tumors and/or in multiple collection of lymph nodes either above or below the diaphragm, but are not both above and below the diaphragm;
  • Lymphoma in the digestive tract (whether or not it has spread to nearby lymph nodes) that can be surgically removed.

Stage 3: A stage 3 lymphoma meets one of the following criteria:

  • Lymphoma that originated in the chest;
  • Lymphoma that originated in the digestive tract or abdomen but due to extensive spread, cannot be surgically removed in its entirety;
  • The tumor is near the spine;
  • There are multiple tumors or the cancer is located in multiple clusters of lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm.

Stage 4: The lymphoma is found in the central nervous system (the brain or the spinal cord) or the bone marrow when diagnosed.

Why are the stages for non-Hodgkin lymphoma important?

Correctly staging non-Hodgkin lymphoma is important because it will help determine the appropriate course and duration of necessary treatment.  Phase 1 and 2 are considered “limited-stage” cancer, and are usually treated in a similar fashion.  Phase 3 and 4 are described as “advanced-stage” and are generally treated similarly as well.

Luckily, thanks to significant medical advances in recent decades, the prognosis for all stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma have increased greatly and children who are cancer-free for at least five years are generally considered “cured”, as non-Hodgkin lymphoma rarely returns once this much time has passed.  Assuming an aggressive treatment protocol, children diagnosed with Stage 1 or Stage 2 lymphoma generally have a greater than 90% survival rate, while children diagnosed with Stage 3 or Stage 4 lymphoma have a greater than 80% survival rate.[1]  Unfortunately, survival rates for children diagnosed with advanced-stage anaplastic large cell lymphoma are the one exception to these statistics, with a “cure rate” of only 60-75%.

About the American Childhood Cancer Organization

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship.  Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world.  At the national level, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  At the grassroots level, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for families and learning resources for children in order to make the lives of children and their families easier and brighter during this difficult time.  Many of our resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.

For additional information on non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stages of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or on the ACCO, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at www.acco.org.

[1] Statistics about long-term survival rates can be useful, but they cannot predict the outcome for any one particular child; a number of factors affect each child’s prognosis, including the type of lymphoma, the location and size of the cancer, how well it responds to treatment, and other factors will affect your child’s long-term prognosis.

For additional information on our resources or information on how to obtain our resources free of charge, please visit our website at www.acco.org.

For more information about the American Childhood Cancer Organization and how we can help, call 855.858.2226 or visit:

Want To Read American Childhood Cancer Organization On Your Phone? Click the NoteStream logo: NoteStream

Gold Ribbon Hero Anna Reece D

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Anna Reece is 18 months old and arrived at St. Jude today. She and her parents are beginning their fight against rhabdomyosarcoma. Multiple tumors have been found on scans. Her parents, family and friends are devastated. I have experienced family members and friends with cancer and I believe that the larger the support group, somehow, gives just a little bit more comfort and makes even the hardest days a little easier.” – Lauren R

image

 

 

 

Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a form of childhood (and adult) cancer that develops in the immune system, specifically in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell responsible for fighting infection and disease.  Non-Hodgkin lymphoma usually begins in B-cell lymphocytes, which are responsible for making germ-fighting antibodies, but it can also develop in T-cell lymphocytes, which are generally responsible for destroying cells infected with viruses, fungi, or bacteria.  Because lymphocytes and other forms of lymphatic tissue are found in organs throughout the body, non-Hodgkin lymphoma can start almost anywhere in the body, but is usually found in organs that play a large role in fighting infection, such as the lymph nodes (located in the neck and chest, under the armpit, and in the groin), the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids and tonsils, the digestive tract, and the bone marrow.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for about 5% of all childhood cancers in the United States today.

What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Because non-Hodgkin lymphoma begins in lymphatic tissue that can be found throughout the body, it can cause a wide variety of different symptoms depending on the specific location of the cancer cells.  As with many forms of childhood cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma often does not cause detectable symptoms until it reaches a large size.  The most common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes, usually felt or seen as bumps on the neck, armpit, collarbone, or groin
  • Coughing or shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Swollen and distended abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue and unexplained exhaustion
  • Severe and/or frequent infection
  • Frequent bruising and/or bleeding

Unfortunately, because non-Hodgkin lymphoma involves the immune system, many of these symptoms can easily be mistaken for a common cold, virus, or childhood infection.  For instance, swollen lymph nodes are one of the primary symptoms of this type of childhood cancer, but most cases of enlarged lymph nodes are, in fact, caused by routine infection rather than non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Lymphoma in the abdomen can be more readily distinguished from infection, as it usually manifests as a swollen, painful belly.  It can involve the build-up of fluid in the abdomen area, a swollen spleen constricting the stomach, or bowel or kidney blockage.  Common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma located in the abdomen include:

  • Feeling full
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Low urine output
  • Swelling of the extremities

In cases where the lymphoma grows in the thymus or lymph nodes in the chest, the growth can begin to press against the vein that carries blood from the head and upper torso to the heart.  Known as SVC Syndrome, this symptom can lead to swelling in the face, neck, arms, and chest, cause breathing trouble, headaches, and dizziness, and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

How do I seek help for my child?

If you believe your child is exhibiting the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, your first step is to express your concerns to your child’s pediatrician.  Because many of these symptoms are likely to be caused by a routine infection rather than cancer, the pediatrician will likely begin with close observation and a course of antibiotics to rule out infection.  If the symptoms do not resolve, or your child’s health continues to deteriorate, the pediatrician will most likely pursue diagnostic testing in the form of a biopsy of the affected tissues.  If the biopsy confirms non-Hodgkin lymphoma, your child will be referred to a pediatric oncologist to begin treatment as soon as possible.

About the American Childhood Cancer Organization

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship.  Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world.  At the national level, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  At the grassroots level, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for families and learning resources for children in order to make the lives of children and their families easier and brighter during this difficult time.  Many of our resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.

For additional information on non-Hodgkin lymphoma and its symptoms, on the ACCO in general, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at www.acco.org.

For more information about the American Childhood Cancer Organization and how we can help, call 855.858.2226 or visit:

Want To Read American Childhood Cancer Organization On Your Phone? Click the NoteStream logo: NoteStream

Gold Ribbon Hero Rachel D

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Rachel was diagnosed on October 18 with are rare and aggressive cancer known as ATRT stage 4. She was 14 month at the time of the diagnose. She is such a strong warrior she’s been thru so much from surgery to aggressive chemo and radiation at such a young age. She amazes me everyday the way she fight for her life.. She’s very strong she wakes up happy everyday. She’s  always playing & laughing. Cancer is not going to win Rachel will come victorious out of the ugly disease.. Rachel is my world my Hero my everything..” – Carla B.

img_2374

Gold Ribbon Hero Dashiell C

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: On March 2, 2012 Dashiell was diagnosed with a cancerous liver tumor called Hepatoblastoma. After multiple chemo therapies and surgery to remove the tumor at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, he fell into a high-risk category for recurrence so we took him to specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. After 3 months of treatment new tumors were found in his liver and he was immediately placed on the transplant list which he received 3 weeks later. After 7 weeks he got to go home to his brothers and sweet doggie. He was so happy, he did a somersault on the living room floor! During his next visit a nodule was found in his right lung. The cancer had spread. He underwent surgery to remove it. But at his next monthly appointment new nodules were found in both lungs. The cancer was now believed to actually be the more aggressive, extremely rare Transitional Liver Cell Tumor. But to be absolutely sure we tracked down Dr. Arthur Zimmerman, the Swiss pathologist to originally identify TLCT.  After reviewing Dashiell’s case history/pathology slides (free of charge), he confirmed it was this type of cancer. There is no cure for it and diagnosis is terminal. To stave off the inevitable Dashiell underwent 10 rounds of radiation and an experimental chemo to no avail. As  with all of his treatments, Dashiell did not suffer any concerning side-effects. In fact, except for hair loss, he never endured the expected routine side-effects such as infection, mouth sores, nausea or fatigue. Even recovery from the all of the surgeries was without incident. Despite all our efforts, he succumbed to this disease on 6/17/13. To ensure Dashiell’s journey was not in vain, his post-mortem tumors were donated to scientific research through UI Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the COG and SIOPEL. He is currently one of three worldwide confirmed cases of TLCT with data-banked bio-specimens. Dashiell had a blessed life, as sweet and blissful as any child could possibly dream — believing in Santa Claus, eating treats, cuddling Mama and Daddy (Pam and Brian), playing with his brothers (Orson and Sumner) and hugging his doggie (Cider). He never knew one day of sorrow, neglect or abuse. He is deeply loved and all of his days were pure with happiness. His legacy is honored as we advocate for childhood cancer awareness/projects/programs/organizations, better treatment options, advancement in higher cure rates and increased medical research funding. Dashiell’s indomitable spirit lives on in the hearts of his family, friends and supporters. To learn more about Dashiell go here : https://www.facebook.com/DashiellsMahnaMahnaPage” – Pamela C.

Image 2

About the most common types of childhood cancers

An Introduction to Childhood Cancer

IMG_2109Cancer is a general term given to diseases caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.  Awareness of and attention to adult cancers has grown exponentially over the past decades, but unfortunately, there is much less awareness of and knowledge about childhood cancer.  Did you know that 1 out of every 285 children will be diagnosed with childhood cancer this year alone?  Or that more than 1,200 children die from childhood cancer ever year?  At the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), our mission is to educate and build awareness about this devastating disease and the terrible toll it takes on children and their families.  So perhaps the best place to start is with a few simple facts about childhood cancer

The Most Common Types of Childhood Cancer

Unlike adult cancers, childhood cancers are not closely linked to lifestyle choices or environmental exposure, nor are there screening mechanisms to enable early detection.  Often, childhood cancer is not detected or diagnosed until it begins causing noticeable symptoms.  The most common types of childhood cancer are:

  • Leukemia: Leukemias involve cancers of the bone marrow and blood, and constitute about 30% of all childhood cancers. The two types we hear about most are acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), both of which can grow quickly and require immediate treatment.
  • Brain and central nervous system tumors: Brain tumors (and less commonly spinal cord tumors) make up about a quarter (26%) of all childhood cancers. There are a variety of different types of brain tumors, classified by where the tumor started, such as gliomas, astrocytomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors.  Treatment and prognosis depends heavily on the exact type and location of the tumor.
  • Lymphoma: Lymphoma begins in the immune system, and is likely to be found the lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, or spleen. Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for around 3% of childhood cancer and is most common in young adults; non-Hodgkin lymphoma accounts for around 5% of childhood cancers and occurs in younger children (but is rare in children under 3).  Lymphoma is generally a rapidly-growing form of cancer and requires immediate treatment.
  • Neuroblastoma: Found primarily in infants and very young children, neuroblastomas constitute about 6% of childhood cancers. Although neuroblastoma can start anywhere, it is most commonly found in the abdomen.
  • Wilms tumor: About 5% of childhood cancers, Wilms tumor starts in one kidney (it can occur in both kidneys, but this is rare). It is most common in children between the ages of 3-4, and uncommon in children older than 6.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma: The most commonly occurring soft tissue sarcoma in children, this cancer grows in cells that develop into skeletal muscles and can be found anywhere in the body. It accounts for approximately 3% of childhood cancers.
  • Bone cancers: Primary bone cancers start in the bones, and are distinguished from metastatic bone cancer, which is a cancer that has started elsewhere but spread into the bone. Primary bone cancers make up about 3% of childhood cancer; the most common types of bone cancer in children are osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.
  • Retinoblastoma: This cancer starts in the eye and is most common in children under the age of two (it is rarely found in children older than 6). It constitutes about 2% of childhood cancers.

Why Is Raising Awareness About Childhood Cancer Important?

Although still considered to be “rare” by some, the fact is that childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death of children under the age of 15 after accidental deaths, and it seems like most people know at least someone in their school or their town who has been personally affected by childhood cancer.  And while rates of childhood cancer are increasing, research into the development of new, less toxic treatment options for childhood cancer is not keeping pace; of the more than 100 new cancer drugs approved by the FDA since 1990, only two were developed specifically to treat childhood cancer.  Many forms of childhood cancer are now considered “treatable”, with long-term survivor rates above 80 or even 90%, some forms of childhood cancer still have extremely high mortality rates and most survivors are left with long-term health problems as a result of their cancer treatment.

About the American Childhood Cancer Organization

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship.  Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world.  At the national level, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  At the grassroots level, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for families and learning resources for children in order to make the lives of children and their families easier and brighter during this difficult time.  Many of our resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.

For additional information about childhood cancer, on the ACCO in general, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at www.acco.org.

For additional information on our resources or information on how to obtain our resources free of charge, please visit our website at www.acco.org.

For more information about the American Childhood Cancer Organization and how we can help, call 855.858.2226 or visit:

Want To Read American Childhood Cancer Organization On Your Phone? Click the NoteStream logo: NoteStream

Gold Ribbon Hero Zayla M

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Zayla was diagnosed in 2005, at the age of 3, with acute lymphocytic leukemia. The “good cancer”. Four months before she was to complete treatment she was found to relapse in her CNS. After four months of more intense chemotherapy, we learned that her leukemia was spreading. In July 2007, at six years old, Zayla would have a bone marrow transplant. Her older sister Shelby was her donor. She had to have cranial radiation and Total body irradiation to rid her body of all cancer and accept her sisters new stem cells. Zayla had mild graft vs. host disease, but we were able to control it with medication. Zayla went six years with very little Heath concerns. She made the 5 year mark that most cancer families are excited to reach…..with no evidence of disease. In July 2013, Zayla had what appeared to be a stroke. After several tests and a brain biopsy it was found that Zayla had anaplastic astrocytoma cancerous brain tumor. Zayla’s brain tumor was inoperable. She would undergo 63 rounds of cranial radiation along with chemotherapy treatment five days every month. In the fall of 2014 it was found that treatment was not working. We would do another 12 days of radiation and start a new chemotherapy regimen. In February of 2015 we decided to stop the new chemotherapy because Zayla’s body was not able to handle it. Her recovery was extremely slow and her blood counts were dangerously low. Due to Zayla’s previous bone marrow transplant and leukemia treatment, all clinical trials were excluded. The treatment for her leukemia years ago, gave her terminal brain cancer and the treatment for leukemia excluded her from newer treatment clinical trials. Where is the fairness in that?!?!?!? From February 2015 until July 2015, we decided to try different holistic treatments along with Avastin infusions, which we were hoping would prevent the spreading of disease. In January 2016, Zayla’s MRI showed gliomatosis cerebri, or spiderweb like spreading of her Glioma throughout her brain. We attempted to get into different clinical trials with no success. In February 2016, Zayla was showing numerous signs of disease advancing and was placed on hospice. Today, Zayla is at the end of her cancer journey. The forever cure that we all wanted is going to be in a different form. We pray for peace and healing for our sweet 14 year old daughter.” – Chris M.

05112016

Gold Ribbon Hero Erik O

Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: In my community, there is nobody I know that goes out of their way to do so much for local children with cancer and their families the way that Erik does. I can’t say enough how it amazes me at times to hop on to Facebook and see how much he gives of himself to try and make a difference for a child and their family going through a very tough time in their lives.

Through his amazing heart and selfless efforts he also raises the awareness of childhood cancer our area. I’ve witnessed him bring people together in our area to help with anything big or small to make an impact on a child fighting for their life and their families.

I can’t fill this box with enough words to describe the amazing work he does. I ask that you please give serious consideration and take the time to look at the efforts Erik continues to make day in and day out. He is truly a Hero in not only my eyes but the children and families he helps.” – Timothy G.

11218844_10208243329185016_6449311860967701913_n

 

Gold Ribbon Hero Nicholas D

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Nicholas is 21 months remission and works hard in fundraising for his Kid Nicholas Going Gold 4 Kids founding hope , he wants people to be aware that children need to be heard and can’t fight alone , he is truly an amazing little boy who has given me such strength and inspiration to help so many and raising awareness for all children we never stop fighting !!” – Payricia D

image 1