Your child's treatment depends on certain factors:
- the disease's stage
- the disease's subtype
- whether the disease is aggressive (fast growing) or indolent (slow growing)
- whether the lymphoma is in areas of the body other than the lymph nodes (extranodal involvement)
- potential risk factors that may be found during lab tests
Your child's oncologist (cancer specialist) should develop a treatment plan that limits the amount of therapy needed to bring about a remission. Be sure to ask the oncologist about potential side effects and long-term effects when considering treatment options. Some long-term effects, like infertility, can be serious. Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free fact sheet Fertility.
Children with NHL may sometimes be treated differently than adults. Choosing the most effective therapy for adolescents and young adults (ages 15 to 29) can be challenging and is a topic of ongoing research. In fact, the treatment used on adults for certain NHL subtypes, including Burkitt lymphoma and lymphoblastic lymphoma, is actually already a pediatric therapy.
A clinical trial may be an option when it comes to finding the right treatment for your child's cancer. Clinical trials for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer are generally designed to compare potentially more effective therapy with therapy that's currently accepted as standard. Your child will have access to new or improved therapies under study and not yet on the market. Discuss with your child's doctor the possibility of taking part in a clinical trial, where treatment is administered in a safe, closely monitored environment.
Survivorship and Special Healthcare Needs
After treatment, most children can expect to have full and productive lives. Many survivors return to school, attend college, enter the workforce, marry and become parents.
You may want to consider a survivorship program for your child that focuses on life after cancer. Several major hospitals around the country offer these programs.
More to Explore
- Understanding your child's ongoing healthcare needs
- Understanding cancer treatment's effect on fertility
- Survivorship resources for children and families
- Download or order The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS's) free fact sheet Choosing a Blood Cancer Specialist or Treatment Center
- Download or order LLS's free booklet Knowing All Your Treatment Options
- Download questions to ask your doctor about treatment options