Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphocytes. It is named after its discoverer, Thomas Hodgkin. Lymphocytes are white blood cells found in the lymph system. When these cells become cancerous, they are known as Reed Sternberg cells in the case of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. All other lymphomas, a total of 16 types, are known as Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
These lymphoma cancer cells spread from one lymph node to another, giving these nodes a characteristic knot-like appearance. They are present in visible places such as the neck, armpits and groin, or deeper in the body in areas such as the lungs and abdomen that can only be viewed by radiography.
The most common forms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are B Cell lymphoma and Follicular lymphoma. Lymphoma is mostly found in adults, however, a small fraction of children have also been diagnosed with the disease.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms
A common Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptom in most cases is swollen lymph nodes of different body parts including the armpits or deep-seated spleen enlargement diagnosed by CT scans. The diagnosis, once made, is to be corroborated by a biopsy.
Other Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms include fever accompanied by chills and night sweats, both indicative of the person’s low immunity. In fact, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs in patients with low immunity such as those with HIV infections or those who have a recent history of organ transplantation.
Further, due to enlargement of lymph nodes in the chest, a patient may have trouble breathing and severe coughing.
If the enlarged lymph node is present in the abdomen, aabdominal pain and swelling may occur.
Lastly, unexplained weight loss is also indicative of Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Other common lymphoma cancer symptoms are severe itching, constipation, nausea, and vomiting in the case of abdominal swelling and breathlessness in the case of chest swelling.
Further, in case the cancer affects the brain, a person is liable to have continuous headaches and may even suffer from seizures. Accompanying loss of concentration and personality are also observed in patients with Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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