Childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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If childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma spreads

Cancer cells can spread from where cancer starts to other parts of the body. This spread is called metastasis.

Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps the healthcare team plan your child’s treatment and future care. Childhood non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) can spread through the lymphatic system, or sometimes through the blood, to almost any tissue or organ in the body.

Childhood NHL usually starts in an area of lymph nodes. When it spreads to an organ or tissue outside of the lymph nodes, it is called extranodal spread.

If childhood NHL spreads, it can spread to the following:

  • lymph nodes close to where the cancer started
  • lymph nodes in other parts of the body
  • the spleen
  • the liver
  • organs in the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach and intestine
  • a lung, both lungs or the tissue that covers the lungs and lines the chest cavity (called the pleura)
  • the brain
  • the skin

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