Home Lifestyle Cancer symptoms: Painless swellings may be a sign of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer symptoms: Painless swellings may be a sign of non-Hodgkin lymphoma


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes – an important part of the immune system. Here is what you need to know. Blood Cancer UK said: “A common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is lumps.” These “lumps” are swollen lymph nodes (i.e. glands) located in the:

  • Neck
  • Collarbone
  • Armpit
  • Groin

Sometimes, swollen lymph nodes can press on surrounding organs, which may cause chest pain, coughing, breathlessness, or discomfort in the stomach.

Other symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • High temperature
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Itchiness
  • Feeling uncomfortably gull
  • Feeling sick
  • Bone pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Frequent or long-lasting infections
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising

It’s unlikely people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma will experience all of the symptoms listed above.

In addition, these symptoms may be indicative of another condition.

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More than a third of cases are diagnosed in those aged 75 and over.

This does mean that nearly two-thirds of cases are diagnosed in younger adults.

Those who have a weakened immune system are more at risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This may have come about from:

  • HIV or AIDS
  • Taking drugs to stop organ rejection after a transplant
  • Being born with a medical condition that affects immunity
  • Autoimmune diseases

Examples of autoimmune diseases include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Haemolytic anaemia
  • Coeliac disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

A person’s prognosis (i.e. outlook) after diagnosis will be decided on an independent basis.

The type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the size of the tumour, and whether it has spread will affect the chances of recovery.

Treatment for the condition may include radiotherapy, chemotherapy, steroids and surgery.

As with any cancerous tumour, the sooner it’s detected, the sooner treatment can begin.


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