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Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma: 10 symptoms to be on alert for

Posted April 3

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma accounts for about four percent of all cancers in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. It is predicted that in 2017, 72,240 people will be diagnosed with this cancer and about 20,140 people will die from it.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma prevents a person’s body from fighting infections, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This cancer develops in the lymphatic cells, these cells begin to modify and multiply without control, forming tumors. The tumor growth can be rapid or slow and can develop in many parts of the body.

According to the American Cancer Society, the main symptoms you should look for are:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen abdomen (belly)
  • Feeling full after only a small amount of food
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Shortness of breath or cough
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • Low red blood cell counts (anemia)
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can affect these areas of the body:

1. Lymph nodes

Lymphoma can cause lymph nodes to enlarge. It’s important to check the neck, groin, under the arm and above the collarbone. If it looks like you have lumps under your skin, go get it checked out. Sometimes enlarged lymph nodes are caused by infection, so it's important to get a doctor's opinion.

2. Abdomen

Lymphoma can cause swelling and tenderness in the abdomen. There are two reasons for this: The lymph nodes of the abdomen are swollen or fluids may have accumulated. Lymphoma can swell the spleen, which presses the stomach. So if you are feeling very full after eating only a small amount of food, you may have reason to be concerned.

3. Intestines

Lymphoma can cause swelling near the intestines. Normal bowel function can be blocked causing pain in the abdomen, nausea or vomiting. The cancer can also cause holes to form in the intestine, which can lead to serious infection and pain.

4. Stomach

Lymphoma in the stomach can cause stomach pain, nausea and a reduced appetite.

5. Chest

Lymphoma in the chest will push on the windpipe, causing shortness of breath, a cough, pressure in the chest or chest pain.

6. Brain

Lymphoma in the brain can cause headaches, problems with reasoning, weakness in some parts of the body, changes in mood and personality and, in some cases, seizures.

Double vision, facial numbness and trouble speaking are also common symptoms.

7. Skin

Lymphoma in the skin can appear as redness, itching, nodules and purple marks on the skin.

Keep an eye out for these symptoms and ask a professional if you have any questions or concerns.

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