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Warning Signs of Lymphoma

written by: angiem1981 • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 1/31/2010

Could it be an infection or lymphoma? Many warning signs and symptoms of lymphoma may indicate other disease or illness.

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    The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society estimated that approximately 74,490 individuals in the United States would be diagnosed with some type of lymphoma in 2009. According to these statistics, this type of cancer is ranked among the most common for both male and female patients. According to this same study, a little less than 9,000 of these cases were expected to be the non Hodgkins lymphoma. Although lymphoma is a treatable condition, the prognosis will depend on many aspects of the cancer. This can include the stage, type, and the health of the patient. Studies also indicate that early diagnosis will play a pivotal role in the prognosis. That is why knowing the early warning signs of lymphoma and risk factors are so important.

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    Warning Signs of Lymphoma

    Although symptoms of signs of lymphoma may be different for patients, there are a few common signs that will affect the majority of those with lympoma. Since this type of cancer affects the immunity system, it is fairly typical for the individual to have swollen lymph nodes in various areas. Lymph nodes in the neck, groin, and armpits are usually painless and may therefore go unnoticed for quite some time. Even when noticed, this warning sign may often be dismissed because various conditions, such as the presence of infection can cause the lymph nodes to swell. However, in some of those with lymphoma the swelling may persist or be recurring, regardless of antibiotic treatment and/or other intervention. This can be true of those suffering from Hodgkin or non Hodgkins lymphoma.

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    Other Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma

    There are various warning signs and symptoms of lymphoma. While some of these may appear early on, some of these symptoms may not present themselves until the further stages and may depend on the type of lymphoma. The individual can have unintended and/or unexplained weight loss that occurs rapidly or over time, chronic weakness and fatigue, pain accompanied with swelling in the abdomen or other areas of the body, loss of appetite, night sweats, fever, and chest pain accompanied by coughing, pressure, and sometimes trouble breathing. Not all patients will have these symptoms though and the severity of such conditions can vary drastically. In some cases, the individual may not have any symptoms at all.

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    Risk Factors

    Certain persons may be more at risk than others for developing lymphoma and should therefore pay close attention to the possible warning signs. Those with higher incidence of non Holdgkins lymphoma include those who have had an organ transplant and must take medications to supress the immune system, older individuals, those exposed to various pesticides on a fairly regular basis, and those who suffer from other conditions. This includes individuals who may be HIV positive, suffer from Hepatitis C and the Epstein-Barr virus. It is important to note though, a large percentage of those affected by lymphoma may not have any risk factors for this cancer at all.

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    References

    Lymphoma. MedlinePlus. National Cancer Institute by the National Institute of Health. 2009. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lymphoma.html.

    Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Mayo Clinic. Updated 23, June 2009. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/DS00350/DSECTION=risk-factors.

    Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Facts and Statistics. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Updated 16, October 2009. Viewed 30, January 2010. http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org/all_page.adp?item_id=8965.