What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma?

Universal Images Group Editorial/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The main signs and symptoms of lymphoma include painless swelling in lymph nodes found in the groin, neck or under the arms, night sweats, chills, fever, and unexplained weight loss, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms are appetite loss, increased lymph node pain after drinking and enhanced sensitivity to alcohol, constant fatigue, and itching.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, explains Medical News Today. There are two types, including non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, although the latter type accounts for fewer cases. The immune cells selected by non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are B- and T-lymphocytes, while in Hodgkin’s lymphoma only a specific type of B-cell is chosen.

Risk factors for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include being over age 60, ethnic background, sex, exposure to radiation and chemicals, immunodeficiency, infection, and autoimmune disease, according to Medical News Today. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is associated with Epstein-Barr virus and is more prevalent in males. Many cases are found in the United States, northern Europe and Canada. A familial relationship exists among siblings.

Diagnosis for both types of lymphoma is based on blood tests, physical signs such as swollen nodes, X-rays, CT scans, lymph node excision and examination, and a bone marrow biopsy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is further categorized according to a staging protocol.