Symptoms of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Symptoms of non-Hodgkins lymphoma vary, depending on where the cancer is located.

The first sign of non-Hodgkins lymphoma may be a painless lymph node swelling of the neck, underarm, or groin. Swelling may also occur in the soft tissues of the arm or leg if the lymphoma has developed outside of a lymph node and is blocking the lymphatic flow, as sometimes happens. If the lymphoma is present in an internal organ, such as the stomach or bowel, symptoms will relate to disruption of the organ’s function, such as gastric pain, abdominal pain, or intestinal obstruction.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

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Abdominal swelling, indigestion, or stomach pain may occur if the cancer is in the abdominal lymph tissue, blocks the intestines, or has damaged the abdominal lining and allowed fluid to collect.

Coughing or shortness of breath may occur if the cancer starts in the chest. This can put pressure on the windpipe. If a tumor in this area compresses the superior vena cava, swelling in the head and arms may also occur.

As a greater number of cancer cells develop, general symptoms may include:

  • Unexplained fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Very itchy skin, especially after showering
  • Bruising
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References:

Lymphoma. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society website. Available at: http://www.lls.org/diseaseinformation/lymphoma . Updated April 19, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/non-hodgkin . Accessed April 29, 2013.
What is non-Hodgkin lymphoma? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.... . Updated March 27, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.
Last reviewed April 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 3/18/2013