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Symptoms and Signs of Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Symptoms and Signs of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Hodgkin's Lymphoma Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment | Natural Health News


Hodgkin's lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin's disease, is a type of lymphoma. Basically Lymphomas are a group of blood cancers that begin in the lymphatic system, this system consists of a network of nodes, organs, and blood vessels throughout the body. So, Hodgkin's lymphoma develops from these lymphocytes. More specifically, they develop into a type of cell called B lymphocytes. Hodgkin's lymphoma may not have any symptoms during the initial stage. Therefore, some of the common symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma include unexplained fever, loss of weight, persistent cough, reduced appetite, itching, inflammation and abdominal pain.

Introduction of Hodgkin's Lymphoma

The symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma are usually non-specific. They have many features in common with other diseases, such as colds, flu, other respiratory infections and other types of blood cancer but there may be no initial cancer symptoms in the early stages of lymphoma.

This lymphoma can cause "B symptoms" such as:

  • fever with no apparent reasons
  • heavy sweating, especially at night
  • Loss of weight.

Some of the common symptoms of Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, groin, or underarms
  • Occasional fevers with no apparent reasons
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Fatigue, or tiredness all the time
  • Persistent cough which may be present for a long time
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling of fullness even after small meal
  • Shortness of breath and tiredness even after little work
  • Reduced appetite
  • Inflammation and abdominal pain (pain in the belly)
  • Rash or itching which may not be present previously

Individuals are encouraged to contact a health care professional immediately if any of these symptoms occur. It can also indicate the presence of another medical condition, so it is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Some people with Hodgkin's lymphoma have abnormal cells in their bone marrow when diagnosed. This may lead to:

  • Persistent fatigue or tiredness for a long time
  • increased risk of infection (infection with HIV can make the disease complicated)
  • Excessive bleeding - heavy periods, nosebleeds, and blood patches under the skin

These symptoms can be caused by several other conditions, such as the flu or infection with another virus. So, most people with such signs do not have Hodgkin's. However, if symptoms develop for no apparent reason, contact the doctor?1,2?.

Swollen Lymph Nodes: A Common Symptom

NHL can cause swelling or enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes are part of the immune system and help circulate lymph fluid that contains immune cells. There are approximately 600 lymph nodes in our body, for example, enlarged lymph nodes can feel or look like lumps under the skin that do not usually cause discomfort.

Common sites for enlarged lymph nodes include:

  • Underarm
  • Side of the neck
  • Above the collarbone
  • Groin

Enlarged lymph nodes are a symptom of NHL but are usually caused by an infection. In other words, swollen lymph nodes do not necessarily mean that the person has NHL?2?.

Symptoms from NHL in the abdomen

NHLs that start or develop in the abdomen (stomach) can cause pain or swell in the abdomen. It can occur in enlarged lymph nodes or organs, such as the liver or spleen. However, large amounts of fluid accumulation can also cause it.

When the spleen gets enlarged, it may put pressure on the stomach. This leads to feeling fullness after a small meal and losing appetite eventually.

Lymphomas in the stomach and intestines can cause abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea?1?.

Symptoms from NHL in the chest

If the NHL starts in the thymus or lymph nodes in the chest, it can press on nearby organs (bronchial tubes), causing difficulty in breathing, coughing, or pain and pressure in the chest.

The Superior Vena Cava (SVC) is a large vein that carries blood from the head and hands to the heart. It passes through the thymus glands and lymph nodes in the chest. NHL in this area can displace SVC, allowing blood to return to the veins. This can cause swelling (sometimes bluish-red) of the head, upper chest, and arms. However, it can affects the brain, which can ultimately lead to causin difficulty breathing and changes in consciousness with time. This is called SVC syndrome. It can be life-threatening, for which it should be treated immediately.

Symptoms from NHL affecting the brain

NHL in the brain can cause headaches, weakness in certain parts of the body, poor thinking, personality changes and occasional seizures.

Other types of NHL can spread around the spinal cord and brain. This can cause facial paralysis, double vision and difficulty in speaking.

Symptoms from NHL in the skin

Skin lymphoma can be seen or felt. It often appears as itchy, purple or red bumps or lumps under the skin.

Symptoms That Overlap With Other Conditions

Many of the symptoms of NHL are also seen in other less serious diseases, such as infections due to flu or colds. These common symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, tiredness, and other symptoms.

The important difference is that the symptoms of less serious problems are usually not long-lasting. On the other hand, the symptoms of NHL usually persist.

When There Are No Symptoms at All

Some people with NHL do not feel any discomfort. There may be no symptoms present, or they may not recognize that their symptoms are serious.

People with the following types of NHL are more likely to be asymptomatic :

  • Small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL)
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Slow-growing subtypes of lymphoma
  • Marginal zone lymphoma

If there are no symptoms of NHL, it may be more difficult to make an early diagnosis?1?.



  1. 1.
    Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms. Cancer treatment-Centers of America. Published 2022. Accessed March 2022.
  2. 2.
    Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms. Cancer Council NSW. Published 2021. Accessed March 2022.
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