Lymphoma is cancer that targets your lymphatic system’s lymphocytes. When these lymphocytes are attacked, their ability to fight infections and produce antibodies is dramatically reduced. With lymphoma comes fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and even weight loss, making it important to watch out for signs of the disease.
Symptoms of lymphoma may vary depending on a number of factors, but some tell-tale signs that someone is fighting off this cancer include…
1. Enlargement of Lymph Nodes
One of the earliest signs of lymphoma is the swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin. In order to check for swollen lymph nodes, gently press around the affected area and feel for soft, round bumps about the size of a pea. If you find that these bumps are tender, your lymph nodes are likely inflamed.
If you find that your lymph nodes are swollen, you may experience shortness of breath…
2. Shortness of Breath
Especially in the chest, swollen lymph nodes may press on the trachea, often leading to difficulty in breathing and tightness of the chest. If you find that you have this symptom, seek professional care immediately, as this is a sign that should not be ignored.
Lymphoma can take a lot out of you, as explained in the next symptom…
3. Persistant Fatigue
If you find yourself constantly feeling severely fatigued, it might be due to more than restless nights and long days. When you have lymphoma, your body is constantly fighting off the blood cancer. Consequently, you’ll likely feel persistently tired. That being said, this is an important symptom to look out for.
Fatigue isn’t the only symptom related to sleep…
4. Night Sweats
While it’s not known for sure why lymphoma causes night sweats, it’s been suggested that it’s a natural reaction to the chemicals produced by lymphoma cells in the body. If you find that you’ve consistently been experiencing night sweats, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.
Night sweats are the only surprising symptom of lymphoma…
5. Weight Loss
While not all cancer patients lose a lot of weight, it’s definitely a common symptom. Lymphoma typically grows quickly, meaning your body works extra hard to try to fight cancer cells from burning up more of your body’s energy resources.
As a result, this can lead to sudden weight loss. If you notice a rapid decrease in your weight, it’s important not to brush it off. Be sure to see a doctor, as this is a tell-tale sign of lymphoma.
The next symptom of lymphoma goes hand-in-hand with night sweats…
When your body is filled with lymphoma cells, chemicals are produced that often raise your body temperature. As a result, a low-grade fever will typically develop. While a fever can indicate many different diseases, be sure to reach out to a doctor if you experience any other symptoms along with the fever.
Alongside a fever, itchy skin can also develop as an early sign of lymphoma…
7. Itchy Skin
When the body is infected with lymphoma, harmful chemicals are released by your immune system, often resulting in itching of the skin. This is because these chemicals irritate the nerves in your skin, making it itch.
Itching due to lymphoma can be severe, and it can even cause a burning sensation. This sensation can be contained through moisturizers, phototherapy, antihistamines, and other treatments that should be discussed with your doctor.
Itching isn’t the only symptom of lymphoma that affects the skin…
Lymphoma causes the body to destroy blood cells, which can lead to bruising. More often than not, this bruising looks similar to a rash, as pinhead-sized red spots can appear in clusters.
If you notice sudden bruising that does not subside within a couple of weeks, call the doctor. This can be an early sign of lymphoma that should be taken seriously.