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Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children

Can Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children Be Found Early?

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is uncommon in children and teens, and there are no widely recommended screening tests for this cancer. (Screening is testing for cancer in people who don't have any symptoms.) Still, sometimes NHL can be found early.

The best way to find lymphoma early is to be aware of its possible signs and symptoms and to take your child to the doctor if something concerns you.

Careful, regular medical checkups are important for children, especially those with known risk factors for NHL, such as:

  • Certain inherited immune deficiencies
  • Prior cancer treatment or organ transplant
  • HIV infection

Most children and teens with these conditions do not develop NHL, but it's important for parents and doctors to know the possible symptoms and signs of lymphoma.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Gross TG, Kamdar KY, Bollard CM. Chapter 19: Malignant Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas in Children. In: Blaney SM, Adamson PC, Helman LJ, eds. Pizzo and Poplack’s Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 8th ed. Philadelphia Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2021.

National Cancer Institute Physician Data Query (PDQ). Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment. 2021. Accessed at on June 10, 2021.

Sandlund JT, Onciu M. Chapter 94: Childhood Lymphoma. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier; 2020.

Termuhlen AM, Gross TG. Overview of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in children and adolescents. UpToDate. 2021. Accessed at on June 10, 2021.


Last Revised: August 10, 2021

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