Canadian Cancer Society logo

Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

You are here: 

If childhood Hodgkin lymphoma spreads

Cancer cells can spread from the lymph nodes to other parts of the body and develop into a new tumour. The new tumour is called a metastasis or secondary tumour. If more than one tumour develops in another part of the body, they are called metastases.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your child’s healthcare team plan treatment and future care. Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) usually starts in lymph nodes in the upper part of the body, including the chest, the neck or under the arms. It usually spreads through the lymphatic system in a predictable, orderly way. Cancer spreads from one group of lymph nodes to the next, either on the same side or opposite side of the body.

Most often, childhood HL spreads from lymph nodes in the neck (called the cervical lymph nodes) to the lymph nodes above the collarbone (called the supraclavicular lymph nodes). HL then spreads from the lymph nodes above the collar bone to lymph nodes under the arms (called the axillary lymph nodes). It then spreads to lymph nodes in the chest (called the mediastinal and hilar lymph nodes). HL usually doesn’t skip an area of lymph nodes as it progresses.

Childhood HL can also spread to the following:


Dr Camilla Zimmermann Dr Camilla Zimmermann provided a model for early palliative care.

Learn more

Facing the financial burden of cancer

Illustration of coins

The Canadian Cancer Society provides helpful information about government income programs, financial resources and other resources available to families struggling to make sense of the personal financial burden they face.

Learn more