Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause different symptoms depending on where it is found in the body. The most common symptom is a painless swelling in the lymph node (e.g. in the neck, underarm or groin).
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can also cause what are known as “B symptoms”:
- unexplained and frequent fevers
- drenching night sweats
- losing weight without trying.
Other symptoms may include feeling very tired, weak, drained and worn-out (known as fatigue) or, in rare cases, having itchy skin.
Sometimes non-Hodgkin lymphoma starts in lymph nodes in deeper parts of the body, such as in the:
- stomach or spleen (causing bloating or back pain)
- chest (causing coughing and difficulty swallowing or breathing)
- brain and spinal cord (causing headaches or double vision).
These symptoms are common to many conditions, such as the flu or a virus. If you have any symptoms without an obvious cause, make an appointment to see your general practitioner (GP).
Podcast for people affected by cancer
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A/Prof Christina Brown, Haematologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; Khaled Aly, Consumer; Kevin Bloom, Senior Social Worker, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Royal North Shore Hospital; Katrina Debosz, CAR-T and Lymphoma Nurse Practitioner, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; Dr Samuel Dickson, Radiation Oncologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Dr Wojt Janowski, Haematologist, Calvary Mater Newcastle; Yvonne King, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Karen Maddock, Blood Transplant and Cell Therapy Nurse Practitioner, Westmead Hospital; Sheridan Wellings, Consumer.
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