What Are Symptoms of B-Cell Lymphoma?


Quick Answer

Common symptoms of B-cell lymphoma include fatigue, night sweats, abdominal pain and swelling, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpit, collarbone or neck, according to the American Cancer Society. Other symptoms may include weight loss, fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or bone pain. In advanced cases, abnormally rapid heart rates, respiratory distress and high fever may occur.

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Full Answer

Anyone who experiences persistent, worrisome symptoms should make an appointment with a physician, recommends Mayo Clinic. In addition to a physical exam to check the enlarged lymph notes, the physician typically performs blood and urine tests to rule out infections or other diseases. Additional diagnostic procedures include taking a sample of lymph node tissue for a biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy and imaging tests, which include magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography scans.

B-cell lymphoma is one of the most common forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, according to Mayo Clinic. Normally, B cells fight infection by generating the antibodies to get rid of illness-causing antigens, explains Nemours. Mayo Clinic notes that B-cell lymphoma may spread from the lymph nodes to other branches of the lymphatic system, such as the tonsils, thymus, bone marrow or spleen.

Treatments for B-cell lymphoma vary depending on the stage of the lymphoma and the patient's overall health and age. Mayo Clinic reports that doctors may take a "wait and see" approach to slow-growing lymphomas that don't cause many symptoms. Conversely, patients with more aggressive, or symptom-causing, lymphomas typically receive treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants, biological therapy and radioimmunotherapy medications, such as ibritumomab tiuxetan, which deliver a direct dose of radiation to the cancer cells.

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