Lymph Cancer Symptoms, Types and Warning Signs
Lymphoma is a kind of cancer that forms on one of the components of white blood cells called lymphocytes. It affects the lymph system (lymphatic system), a part of the immune system that aids in fighting infections. When these cells grow uncontrollably and undergo genetic changes, it results in cancer formation. This article entails what lymph cancer symptoms and lymphoma warning signs are.
There are mainly two types of lymphoma, namely, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. The type of lymphoma can be identified through a biopsy.
Types of lymphoma and their symptoms:
Let's learn more about lymph cancer symptoms based on the types.
1. Hodgkin's Lymphoma:
Hodgkin's Lymphoma results due to changes in the DNA of the lymphocyte, which, if left untreated, divides uncontrollably and results in cancer. It is one of the curable forms of tumour.
Hodgkin's Lymphoma warning signs:
One of the most defining lymph cancer symptoms is lump formation under the skin, mainly in the armpits, groin and neck. It is usually painless, but one can experience pain after drinking alcohol. These lumps become more prominent over time, and new bumps begin to form near them.
Sometimes lumps form due to reasons other than lymphoma, meaning it could be due to certain infections. However, if you have not had any recent infection and the lumps are not healing for a long time, you might need to seek help from your physician to analyse the root cause.
Signs and Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:
- Fever without infection
- Severe night sweats
- Unusual weight loss
- Itching skin
- Loss of appetite
- Breathing trouble
- Chest pain
- Pain in the breast bone
- Itchy skin, especially after drinking alcohol and bathing
2. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma:
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs when cancer develops in the lymphocytes of the white blood cells. It usually affects the lymph nodes. Lymphocytes have T-cells and B-cells. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma represents the multiplication of B-cells or T-cell origin. The multiplied cells crowd around normal cells and create tumours.
Don't ignore any of the above-mentioned lymph cancer symptoms, and if you experience any persistent signs or symptoms that make you anxious, schedule an appointment with your physician.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma warning signs:
Painless lump or bump under the skin indicating enlargement of lymph nodes. This usually occurs on the side of the neck, groin and armpits. Few patients might have these lumps in the ears, elbows or near the throat near tonsils.
Fever, chills, night sweats, weight loss, feeling tired, and swelling in the abdomen. These symptoms occur for reasons other than lymphoma, but it is recommended to go for a check-up if these symptoms do not go away.
Signs and symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Chills and unexplained fever
- Weight loss
- Extreme tiredness
- Swollen belly
- Low appetite
- Bloating or fullness
- Chest pain or pressure
- Stomach pain
- Severe cough
- Frequent infections
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Rashes and skin lumps
- Liver enlargement
- Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
- Intestine obstruction
You must know the lymphoma warning signs to check if you have any of the above-mentioned lymph cancer symptoms. Screening tests and other diagnostic procedures are effective in detecting the early lymphoma warning signs.
Lymph cancer symptoms could be mild or severe depending on the stage and severity of disease progression. Having one or two of the signs does not mean you have lymphoma. Most of the symptoms can occur due to causes other than lymphoma. Still, if they do not go away in a few days, it is always necessary to consider having an appointment with a medical professional.
If you are experiencing any lymph cancer symptoms, your physician will collect your complete medical history and conduct a physical examination. Discuss your past illnesses, injury and medicines taken, if any. Your physician will examine you thoroughly to rule out infections and other causes before confirming your diagnosis.