Lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Lymphocytes are part of the immune system that help our bodies fight infection. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can start anywhere in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, lymph glands and organs.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma occurs more often in older children than in younger children.
There are three main types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affect children. A different type of lymphoma that occurs in children is called Hodgkin lymphoma.
Lymphoblastic lymphoma affects cells called lymphocytes. Generally the cancer arises in a particular subgroup of lymphocytes called T cells. It can start in the thymus (the organ in the chest that stores and regulates lymphocytes) and lymph nodes in the neck and chest. Lymphoblastic lymphoma can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Burkitt lymphoma is also a cancer of lymphocytes- but in a different subtype; B cells. and often starts as a tumour in the belly. It can also spread quickly to other parts of the body.
Large cell lymphoma
Large cell lymphoma can arise in either in B cells or T cells anywhere in the body. It also can spread to other parts of the body.