Currently, no screening tests for non-Hodgkin lymphoma exist. Therefore, it’s important for patients, especially those who may display some of the risk factors such as age or weakened immune system, to watch for development of any of the following symptoms. As always, regular medical check-ups are necessary to watch for possible signs of lymphoma and seek care if they are found.
- Swollen stomach
- Chest pain and pressure
- Coughing and shortness of breath
- Excessive weight loss
- Tiredness or extreme fatigue
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma frequently causes lymph nodes to swell and grow to the point that one may feel them under the skin. In the abdomen, lymph nodes may enlarge and cause the stomach to feel tender and swollen. Swelling near internal organs in the abdomen can lead to pain, nausea, vomiting, and a lowered appetite. Lymphomas in the chest region can be diagnosed by lumps, or by shortness of breath, as enlarged lymph nodes press on the trachea. Lymphomas of the brain and spinal cord are some of the most difficult to diagnose, but they can cause headaches, personality changes, double vision, and facial numbness.
In addition to the specific and localized symptoms, lymphomas typically cause more general symptoms including weight loss, night sweats, and high fever. Lymphoma can also result in a low blood count, which manifests itself in the form of fatigue (anemia), bruising and bleeding, and frequent infections.
If you or a loved one develops any of these symptoms, it is a recommended you visit a doctor for a check-up. Lymphomas, along with other types of cancer, are treated much more successfully when diagnosed early.