Childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

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Treatments for childhood Hodgkin lymphoma

If your child has Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), the healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for your child. It will be based on your child’s health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for childhood HL, the healthcare team will consider:

  • the type of HL
  • the stage of the cancer
  • the number of lymph node areas that have cancer
  • your child’s age
  • your child’s overall health

The following is general information about treatments offered for childhood HL. Childhood HL is generally treated using chemotherapy, with or without radiation therapy. Find out more about treatments for childhood classical HL and treatments for childhood nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL. Changes to the treatment plan may be made based on your child’s response to treatment.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the main treatment for childhood HL. Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to destroy cancer cells.

Find out more about chemotherapy for childhood HL.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy may be used to treat childhood HL. Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells.

Find out more about radiation therapy for childhood HL.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy may be used to treat childhood HL, most commonly when it comes back (recurs) after treatment or doesn’t respond to treatment. Targeted therapy uses drugs to target specific molecules (such as proteins) on or inside cancer cells to stop the growth and spread of cancer and limit harm to normal cells.

Find out more about targeted therapy for childhood HL.

Stem cell transplant

A stem cell transplant may be used to treat childhood HL that comes back after treatment or doesn’t respond to treatment. A stem cell transplant uses high-dose chemotherapy to kill all of the cells in the bone marrow. Healthy stem cells are given to replace the ones in the bone marrow that were destroyed.

Find out more about stem cell transplant for childhood HL.

Surgery

Surgery is usually only done to diagnose and stage childhood HL. It is used to treat stage 1 nodular lymphocyte-predominant HL.

Follow-up care

Follow-up after treatment is an important part of cancer care. Your child will need to have regular follow-up visits, especially in the first 10 years after treatment has finished. These visits allow the healthcare team to monitor your child’s progress and recovery from treatment. They will also watch for late side effects from treatment. Find out more about follow-up care.

Clinical trials

Children with cancer may be treated in a clinical trial. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Questions to ask about treatment

To make the decisions that are right for your child, ask your healthcare team questions about treatment.

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