The symptoms you experience depend on where the lymphoma manifests, rather than the type of lymphoma you have. Since lymphoma often causes the lymph nodes to swell, the resulting pressure on the surrounding organs can cause issues.
If you find a swollen lymph node on your body, you should talk with a doctor. Your lymph nodes are located in areas like your neck, armpits and groin. Other diseases and cancers can result in swollen lymph nodes, so it’s very important to get them checked, even if you don’t get a lymphoma diagnosis.
Swollen lymph nodes in the chest can put pressure on your windpipe, resulting in respiratory issues. These issues include coughing, trouble breathing and chest pain.
When a lymph node in the abdomen swells, it can push against your stomach or intestines. The pressure makes you feel nauseous and lower your appetite. It also can make you feel pain in that area.
Lymphoma in the lymph tissue in your brain or skin can also result in unpleasant symptoms. When you have lymphoma in your brain or spinal cord, you can have personality changes, seizures, numbness and other cognitive problems. Skin lymphoma can be visible or easy to feel and tend to be itchy and red.
Lymphoma also causes other symptoms typically found in any kind of cancer. Typical cancer symptoms include rapid weight loss, fatigue, chronic pain and fever.
- Over 90 percent of Hodgkin lymphoma patients survive more than 5 years.
- While the median age for contracting non-Hodgkin lymphoma is 60 years old, Hodgkin lymphoma mainly affects teenagers, young adults and seniors.
- In the U.S., about 70,000 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are diagnosed every year, while 8,000 cases of Hodgkin are diagnosed.
- People who have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have a much higher chance of getting lymphoma than people without it.
- Exposure to high levels of radiation can increase your risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Family history of Hodgkin lymphoma can increase your chance of getting it yourself.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma has over 60 varieties, while there are much fewer varieties of Hodgkin lymphoma.
How We Typically Treat Lymphoma
Lymphoma has a large variety of treatments, but chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two most well-known ones. Alternatively, you can try lesser-known treatments like immunotherapy and stem cell transplants.
Radiation and Chemotherapy
Although radiation and chemotherapy may be effective treatments for lymphoma suffers, both come with serious negative side-effects. Along with hair loss and other unpleasant side-effects of radiation and chemotherapy, extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting often accompany radiation and chemotherapy. Extreme weight loss may result as the patient simply cannot hold down food.
This creates another problem — a lymphoma sufferer needs all the strength he or she can get, yet the treatment itself often causes weakness because the patient is not getting enough vitamins and nutrients from eating.
Cancer is such a deadly disease in large part because cancer cells are rapidly dividing cells, allowing the disease to spread quickly through the body. Chemotherapy works by delivering a drug cocktail into the patient’s body that kills the rapidly dividing cancer cells.
The problem is that cancer cells are not the only rapidly dividing cells within the human body. Other places in the body where rapidly dividing cells can be found include hair follicles, bone marrow and the digestive tract.
As a result, one of the most common side-effects of chemotherapy is the inflammation of the digestive tract which results in the inability to keep food down. Radiation therapy has some nasty side-effects as well, most notably extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting for days, or even weeks, after treatment.