There are 2 main types of lymphomas: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin. They develop and respond to the treatment in different ways. Hodgkin lymphoma is a rarely diagnosed disease, while non-Hodgkin often occurs and is represented by 30 subtypes.
One of its most aggressive types is Burkitt lymphoma. However, even with this diagnosis, it is possible to become healthy again and return to the usual lifestyle.
Is Lymphoma Curable in a Child?
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), 86% is a survival rate at initial stages for this disease. It means that 86 out 100 of children will be alive 5 years after diagnosis.
Carolina Konyahina is one of the examples. A little Bookimed patient who got over Burkitt lymphoma at the age 4 years.
Lymphoma Diagnosis Story: Is That Flu or Cancer?
Burkitt lymphoma occurred when a girl was 4 year old — her lymph nodes enlarged. Doctors in the local hospital misdiagnosed these signs as flu complications. And Carolina was getting worse — because of the absence of adequate treatment, a disease progresses very fast — a patient can die just for several months.
“My daughter had got a cold, and then her neck lymph nodes enlarged. A doctor prescribed her a compress, but it didn’t work. Indeed, lymph nodes became firm,” Maria, Carolina’s mother, refreshes her mind. “The surgeon prescribed antibiotics. In 3 days, a daughter’s belly enlarged, and then doctors suspected that it was more serious situation than they supposed.”
It appeared that Carolina’s kidneys were enlarged as well.
Complete diagnostics showed that the girl's kidneys were enlarged more than twice: the size reached 18 cm while a normal one for her age is 8 cm.
“A doctor examined Carolina. He detected that the submandibular lymph nodes were also enlarged. The clinic’s staff performed such investigations as lymph node biopsy, X-ray, and CT scan. The doctors’ board established Burkitt lymphoma diagnosis after all,” Maria says.
The staff started to administer high-dose chemotherapy immediately.
My Lymphoma Treatment Story in Dnipro, Ukraine
“There were only 2 nurses for the whole department with 35 children. They actually did not have the opportunity to change the IV drip in time. It is essential to follow the chemotherapy schedule, so I was forced to look for nurses and ask them to come,” Maria shares. “And I always worried whether the drugs I'd bought were original.”
The first chemo cycle caused complications.
“Carolina experienced brain circulation, heart, and kidneys disorders. She couldn't speak or get out of bed,” says Maria.
The Carolina’s lymphoma treatment story took place in Dnipro city, Ukraine. A hematologist advised her to look for therapy options overseas, because there was a possibility that a girl would not survive after the second chemotherapy cycle.
Maria requested Bookimed, an international medical tourism platform.
“I would have never decided to head for the treatment alone, without Bookimed's support. All these negotiations with hospital representatives seemed very difficult, and I believe I could not handle it,” Carolina’s mother admits.
Lymphoma Story Continues: Bookimed and Hospital Search
Alyona Dybenko, Bookimed medical coordinator comments:
We put our best foot forward to help Carolina. When her mom requested us, the child was in critical condition and stayed in the intensive care unit. It was vital to arrange treatment fast, but many foreign hospitals do not serve patients who have already started therapy at home. However, our top partner hospital in Turkey — Medipol Medical Center — agreed to accept Carolina in 2 weeks.
Lymphoma Success Treatment Story in Turkey
The hospital representatives picked Carolina by ambulance car from the Turkish airport. The girl was in a critical condition, and she needed restorative treatment.
“We spent half a year in Turkey. I did not need to look for a nurse or buy medications myself: they came in time and put the IV drip,” — Maria says.
Carolina received 4 cycles of sparing chemotherapy with individually picked antitumor drugs. Treatment stopped tumor growth and its spread. Finally, the last testing showed that she was healthy.
Carolina’s mom appreciates everyone who helped save her daughter: doctors, charity finds, the Bookimed team.
“I want to say to people with the same condition: you need to believe that you overcome all these challenges. You need to fight, look for treatment options globally,” Maria advises.
Now Carolina is making her dream come true: she practices dancing and wins first rewards.
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375680
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Hodgkin’s lymphoma. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375680
- American Cancer Society. Lymphoma. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lymphoma.html
- American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/