Lymph nodes, sometimes known as glands are found at intervals around your body and the areas where they can be felt are the head and neck, armpit, groin, and the back of your knees. If you’ve had skin cancer, it’s important for you to check for enlarged lymph nodes because skin cancer cells can spread to the lymph nodes. The symptoms of lymphoma are found in many less serious conditions so often that it is quite hard to diagnose. So, what are the most common symptoms of that lymphoma?
The most common symptoms of lymphoma
Patients often present with swollen lymph glands or lumps mainly felt in the neck or armpits or groin, but not all lymphomas are present with obvious lumps. Sometimes patients may present with tiredness, fatigue which is more than what one would experience normally. They may lose weight, significant amounts of weight, without normal dieting and they may experience night sweats. The night sweats are typically drenching, and the patients may wake up in the middle of the night with wet pajamas and wet bedclothes because of excess sweating. Sometimes patients may also present with an itch in the absence of having a rash. You might also find it hard to shake off some infections as the cells or the immune system become less effective in the context of having developed lymphoma.
The lymphoma is typically present with swollen lymph nodes; however, the majority of swollen lymph nodes are caused by infection and this enlargement of lymph nodes is part of the body’s normal infection-fighting response. They’re packed with immune cells that are fighting infection and those cells expand in size and number to eradicate the infection. If you have lymph nodes that are persistent over several weeks or are enlarging, then it’s wise to talk to your doctor about these.
Local symptoms of enlarged lymph nodes
In lymphoma, we see that one or more lymph nodes are enlarged. Apart from the most common areas where these can be found, there are many lymph nodes that are hidden deeper inside the body that we may not necessarily be able to feel on the surface. The lymph nodes are typically round and mobile and may feel rubbery when you touch them. They’re not painful but sometimes patients may experience some aches, or they may experience pain because there’s some pressure on surrounding nerves. These lymph nodes typically persist and enlarge in size but in some types of low-grade lymphomas and possibly in some other types of t-cell lymphomas, we may see that they wax and wane a little. They may increase and decrease in size over time.
B – symptoms
These are symptoms that can be shown by the body as a whole. For example, night sweats which are typically drenching, so much so that the patient may need a change of clothes in the middle of the night. Another example is that patients may experience weight loss in the absence of having intentionally dieted. Patients may also experience fever without any obvious evidence of infection.
It’s important to know about these symptoms and to report them to your team of doctors because it may influence the type of therapies that are best suited to treating lymphoma and potentially the duration of the therapies.
We talked about local symptoms, and these are the symptoms directly related to the lymphoma being present in a place of the body. So, sometimes as the lymphoma grows, for example in the neck, it can cause some pain and discomfort. If lymph nodes are increasing in size in the chest, for example, they can cause shortness of breath, they may cause cough et al. if the lymph nodes are enlarging in the abdomen, patients may experience pain, or they may experience bleeding from the bowl or diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Sometimes lymphoma occurs in the skin, and you may notice red patches or some scaly areas, or even lumps under the skin. The lymphoma may also occur in the brain and the central nervous system, and this can be present with headaches, fits, some problems with memory or dizziness, or even weakness and numbness in the arms or the legs.
It’s always worth bearing in mind that many of the symptoms of lymphoma are caused also by less serious conditions. The important thing to remember if you’re concerned about anything is to discuss this with your doctor.
Discussion about this post