Leukemia and Lymphoma- Cancer/Oncology, Pediatrics

Childhood leukemia and lymphoma are the most common forms of cancers in kids. They cause abnormal multiplication of the white blood cells and lymphocytes respectively.

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and acute myelogenous leukemia are the types of childhood leukemia.

Follicular lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, marginal zone lymphoma, and cutaneous t-cell lymphoma are the types of childhood lymphoma. 

Diagnosis of Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma

Physical test

It involves checking for swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, and groin. Besides, the doctor may also look for skin changes, such as paleness due to anemia.

Blood test

Blood tests show the number of white blood cells and lymphocytes in the blood.


During this test, the doctor removes a sample of tissues from the bone marrow. To obtain the sample, the doctor inserts a thin needle into the hipbone. The sample is checked under a microscope to see if it contains cancer cells.

Imaging test

Positron emission tomography (PET)

A PET scan uses injectable radioactive glucose and a scanner to create detailed images of the areas inside the body. Cancer cells use more glucose than normal cells. Thus, increased glucose uptake indicates cancer.

Computed tomography (CT)

A CT scan produces 3-D images of the organs and tissues. It uses X-rays and a computer.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI uses non-ionizing radio waves and a powerful magnet to create detailed pictures of the areas inside the body.

Diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI)

This is a specialized type of MRI. It detects the random motion of water molecules in the body. Abnormal findings in the motion indicate the presence of cancer cells.

The images tests also help to determine the stages of cancer and its progression.

Treatment of Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma

The treatment depends on your age, stage, and severity of cancer, and its nature; whether it has spread to other areas.

Your doctor will decide if a specific type of treatment or a combination of treatments is best for you. The treatment includes:

  • Chemotherapy: It uses oral or injectable medications to destroy cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: It uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells and stop their growth.
  • Stem cell transplant: It uses stem cells from a donor or your own body to replace diseased cells in the bone marrow.

To learn more about Leukemia and Lymphoma, please check our blog on COMMON CHILDHOOD CANCERS.



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About the Author:
Shailesh Sharma is a registered pharmacist and medical content writer from Nepal. He enjoys digging into latest findings of research and strongly believes in evidence-based health information. He graduated from Pokhara University School of Health and Allied Sciences and was engaged in clinical pharmacy and academia in various regions of Nepal for almost 9 years. Shailesh also serves as Project Manager of Graduate Pharmacists’ Association, Nepal (GPAN).