Symptoms and Signs of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Summary

Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of lymphoma. 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. 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. 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. 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. Most people with such signs do not have Hodgkin’s. However, if symptoms develop for no apparent reason, contact the doctor​1,2​.

References

  1. 1.
    Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms. Cancer treatment-Centers of America. Published 2022. Accessed March 2022. https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/hodgkin-lymphoma/symptoms
  2. 2.
    Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms. Cancer Council NSW. Published 2021. Accessed March 2022. https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/hodgkin-lymphoma/symptoms/