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What are the symptoms of cancer in the lymph glands?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of cancer in the lymph glands, or lymphoma, include swelling lymph nodes, fever, weight loss, appetite loss and fatigue, according to Mayo Clinic. Depending on the type of lymphoma, symptoms can include abdominal pain and chest pain.

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Full Answer

Cancerous cells grow or collect in the lymph nodes in Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, both of which are types of lymph gland cancer, explains Mayo Clinic. Hodgkin's lymphoma occurs when B cells or Reed-Sternberg cells that normally fight infections, grow abnormally, mutate and collect in lymph nodes. An individual with this disease experiences itching, night sweats and sensitivity to alcohol use. If an individual receives a diagnosis early in the disease process, chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell transplant treatments can cure Hodgkin's lymphoma. The latter is a treatment that uses the individual's own stem cells to help fight against the cancerous cells.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma causes primarily flu-like symptoms, such as fever, night sweats and coughing, as well as swelling of both the abdomen and lymph nodes, says Mayo Clinic. This cancer occurs when B or T cells grow abnormally, collecting in the lymph nodes and causing them to swell, one of the primary symptoms. NHL starts in the lymph glands but spreads to other areas of the lymphatic system, such as the tonsils, spleen, bone marrow and lymphatic vessels.

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