Lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. The complication occurs when abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, begin to multiply uncontrollably. The two primary categories of lymphoma are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In either case, one might experience certain subtle hints of the condition that could help them seek treatment as soon as possible. Here are six warning signs of lymphoma that one should know of.
Fatigue and weakness
A person might experience fatigue and weakness due to various health conditions. These signs may also result from excessive physical activity or a busy lifestyle. But if the symptoms persist even after the body is well rested, it could indicate a possible underlying issue. The body might spend significant energy battling cancerous cells caused by lymphoma, triggering persistent fatigue, lethargy, and weakness.
Itchy skin (Pruritus)
The persistent itching might be a sign of a skin rash caused by genetics or a reaction to foods or other environmental conditions. However, the subtle symptoms may also be an indicator of lymphoma. The itchy skin might not be restricted to one area and is usually unrelated to visible skin conditions or allergies. It may occur all over the body and result from chemicals released by the lymphoma cells. One should speak to a professional if the itching persists. A doctor’s intervention may also be needed when the symptom is intermittent but severely impacts the individual when present.
Enlarged lymph nodes
One of the common traits of lymphoma is enlarged lymph nodes. The nodes start to swell in the neck, groin area, and armpits as part of the body’s immune response to infection or inflammation. However, it might indicate an underlying issue when the lymph nodes remain enlarged for an extended period without an apparent cause. While the nodes might be painless, it is important to get them checked by a healthcare professional immediately.
Someone affected by lymphoma may also experience pain in the abdominal region because of the spread of cancerous cells. One might also notice abdominal swelling or feel full even after eating small food portions. These signs are common due to large lymph nodes or the involvement of organs like the spleen or liver. If one experiences abdominal pain, one must get it diagnosed by an expert and seek treatment at the earliest.
Shortness of breath
Since lymphoma can potentially affect the lymph nodes in the chest, it might result in symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain. The signs might initially be subtle and misidentified for other respiratory issues. But if the symptoms persist or worsen over time, one should speak with a healthcare professional. The warning sign might be particularly visible during physical activity or rest. As for chest pain, one may experience pain that ranges from a slight ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation.
Night sweats – profuse and unrelated to environmental factors like room temperature – might require an expert’s intervention. The sweats might indicate the onset of lymphoma and might also be severe enough to disrupt one’s sleep when combined with other symptoms. People suffering from night sweats associated with lymphoma may often find themselves drenched and might require frequent sleepwear and linen changes.