Lymphoma is a malignancy found in the lymphatic system, specifically in the lymphocytes. The lymphatic system is responsible in maintaining the body’s defense against pathogens, as they are a part of the immune system of the body. In this article we are going to look at what the main Lymphoma symptoms are.
Lymphoma is divided into two main categories: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The main distinction is the presence in Reed-Sternberg cells in the malignant lymphocytes. These malignant cells are often found in T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes of the immune system. Hodgkin’s lymphoma has Reed-Sternberg cells while the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma does not have them.
Lymphoma symptoms are the same for Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Among the lymphoma signs and symptoms is presence of a large, rubbery, painless mass found in lymph nodes. This lump in the lymph node is due to the increasing number of malignant cells that accumulate in the lymph nodes. The malignancy spreads in an orderly manner. Meaning the tumor will spread on the next lymph node before proceeding to the other. Other symptoms include night sweats and anorexia (loss of appetite). Another manifestation of lymphoma is unexplained weight loss of more than 15 lbs in less than 2 months, as well as unexplained fever. Lymphoma symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and abdominal distention are due to the metastasis of malignant cells in the spleen and liver. This often results to spleen and liver enlargement that can interfere with the function of the GI tract. If the malignancy is found in both the spleen and bone marrow, lymphoma symptoms of weakness or easy fatigability can result from anemia due to decreased production and storage of red blood cells. When the malignancy has reached the lungs, the person can experience chest pain as well as difficulty of breathing due to compromised respiratory system.
The manifestation of lymphoma symptoms differ from one case to another. Some manifest symptoms early during the course of the disease, while other manifest symptoms when the disease is already at Stage III or Stage IV. Careful clinical and microscopic studies in the presence of lymphoma symptoms must be done to correctly identify and stage lymphoma so proper treatment may be given to increase the chance of survival.