Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is type of cancer that starts in your lymphatic (lymph) system. The lymph system is part of your immune system.

NHL may not cause symptoms right away. Slow-growing lymphoma, also called indolent lymphoma, may not cause symptoms until it grows very large. Aggressive lymphoma grows and spread quickly. It can cause severe symptoms.

When lymphoma does cause symptoms, they can often seem like other health problems at first. This is because NHL can cause many different kinds of symptoms. It depends on where it starts in your body and the kind of lymphoma it is.

Older man displaying symptoms of fatigue

Here are some common symptoms of lymphoma:

  • Swollen, often painless, lymph nodes in the neck, groin, underarm, or above the collarbone

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Feeling very tired

  • Swelling in the belly (abdomen)

  • Feeling full after eating only a small amount

  • Upset stomach (nausea), vomiting, or stomach pain

  • Coughing or trouble breathing

  • Swelling in your head and arms (called superior vena cava syndrome)

  • Headaches

  • Trouble thinking or moving parts of your body

  • Itchy, red or purple lumps under the skin

  • Infections that come back

  • Abnormal sweating, especially at night

  • Losing weight without trying

  • Easy bleeding or bruising

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms are more often caused by other health problems. But it’s important to see your healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have cancer.

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