Lymphoma cancer generally occurs when cancer cells originate and develop within any part of the lymph system. It may also occur when other types of cancer spread to the lymph system. This disease has over thirty different types and is categorized into two broad categories called Hodgkin disease and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They tend to exhibit similar symptoms though. Lymphoma cancer is usually treated much more effectively when it can be identified in the earlier stages of development. So it is important to understand and pay close attention to these important lymphoma cancer symptoms.
In general the risk of developing this disease can increase based on several factors. One important risk factor is the presence of certain types of viruses in the body such as Epstein-Barr, Hepatitis C, Helicobacter pylori, and the HIV or AIDS virus.
Since the lymphatic system is a key part of the immune system, a person with a weak immune system may be at greater risk. In addition patients who have received an organ transplant and have taken drugs to suppress the natural immune system can also be at greater risk of developing lymphoma cancer. And there appears to be a genetic link where the presence of an inherited disease can increase the risk.
There appears to be a strong association with exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene, herbicides and pesticides. And someone who has received previous treatment for cancer such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be at greater risk for developing some form of lymphoma cancer.
Some of the more common and important lymphoma cancer symptoms can include:
- The presence of painless lumps in the armpits, neck or groin. This is caused by an enlarged lymph node. And while this is not necessarily a sure sign of cancer it should still be taken very seriously.
- Unexplained weight loss may occur. In some cases the patient may lose up to fifteen pounds or more over a couple of months with no real change in diet or exercise.
- A persistent fever may occur and have a difficult time abating.
- Excessive night sweat often occurs
- If cancer is affecting the lymph nodes, it may result in the secretion of chemicals which can cause the skin to feel itchy
- If the disease continues to grow, it may cause a drop in appetite. This directly contributes to the weight loss mentioned earlier.
- As cancer cells grow stronger and more prevalent, it can rob the body of important nutrients and cause extreme fatigue and weakness.
- Swelling of the face and neck may occur if the lymphoma grows larger. It may also cause a feeling of breathlessness.
If you experience any of these lymphoma cancer symptoms or have any concerns, seek proper medical attention for further diagnosis and testing. A physical exam would initially be performed and followed up by blood tests and other diagnostic tools.
If a positive diagnosis is made, the typical treatment can include one or more of the following:
- Radiation therapy
- Bone marrow transplant
- Alternative medicine treatments may be used to help to relieve the symptoms but not necessarily directly treat the disease