As a parent, it is normal to worry about your baby’s health and well-being. There are many fatal conditions that can affect a child’s health, and one such condition is lymphoma. Know what exactly child lymphoma is, what causes it and how the condition manifests itself.
Before discussing lymphoma, it is important to understand the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a part of the vascular system consisting of lymph vessels, joints, ducts and tissues.
Lymph vessels carry to the heart a fluid known as lymph. This fluid is made up of infection-fighting white blood cells that also include lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are concentrated in the lymphatic system, which consists of tonsils, bone marrow, spleen thymus and lymph nodes (small organs in the chest, abdomen, groin, neck).
The condition known as lymphoma occurs when the lymphocytes multiply uncontrollably. This causes enlargement of the lymph nodes that can infect other parts of the body, including the nervous system and bone marrow.
Types of lymphoma
Lymphoma is further classified into two types: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
What causes lymphoma in children?
Like most cancers, lymphoma is not contagious. It can affect children who have a weak immune system. It is also noted that the lymphoma may not appear in the family, but there have been cases where genetics were involved. Although these cases were extremely rare and do not mean that family members will have to undergo a cancer screening.
Lymphoma risk factors in children
The risk of lymphoma in children can be increased in the following circumstances:
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
If your baby has undergone an organ transplant and is on medications that affect his immune system, then he may receive it. If your child is infected with HIV this may increase his chances of having Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
If your baby has undergone an organ transplant, if your baby is born with problems with his or her immune system and if your child has undergone treatment for any other type of cancer.
Signs and symptoms of lymphoma
Difficulty breathing and coughing, unexplained fever, weight loss and loss of appetite, abdominal swelling and sweating at night. /mommytobe