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What Are the Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Older man displaying symptoms of fatigue

You may not notice signs of lymphoma in its early stages. In fact, some lymphomas are found through a chest X-ray or other test done for other reasons.

When lymphoma does cause symptoms, they may be mistaken for infection or problems caused by smoking. For example, some early signs of lymphoma include coughing or shortness of breath, especially while exercising. The signs and symptoms of lymphoma are different, depending on where the disease is in your body. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of lymphoma:

  • Swelling (usually painless) in lymph nodes in your neck, groin, underarm, or above your collarbone

  • Swelling in the abdomen

  • Nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain

  • Coughing or trouble breathing

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

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Trouble thinking or moving parts of your body

  • Itchy red or purple lumps under the skin

  • Recurring infections

Lymphoma may also cause some symptoms that may indicate the cancer is more likely to grow quickly. These "B symptoms" include: 

  • Unexplained fever

  • Unusual sweating, especially at night

  • Unexplained weight loss

Remember: These symptoms may be caused by lymphoma or by other less serious conditions. It is important to check with a doctor to be sure.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alteri, Rick, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Larson, Kim APRN, FNP
Date Last Reviewed: 2/5/2014
© 2013 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.
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