Symptoms of lymphoma in women are similar to those in men but exhibit several female-specific attributes. Lymphoma often develops quietly and with few symptoms so it may take a while before you may realize that there is something very much the matter. Following is a list of the typical symptoms of lymphoma in women and symptoms of lymphoma in men alike. One thing to keep in mind is that these lymphoma symptoms can be symptoms of any of a large number of conditions that are generally harmless. For this reason, it’s wise to consult with your doctor if you experience any of them.
1. Enlargement of the Lymph Nodes
This is the most characteristic lymphoma symptom and can be the only symptom that one experiences. According to this article on www.emedicinehealth.com ”Often, the first sign of lymphoma is a painless swelling in the neck, under an arm, or in the groin.” It’s very important to note that a lot of different things can cause an enlargement of the lymph nodes and it does NOT necessarily mean you have lymphoma!
Typically, the lymph nodes of the groin, armpit and neck will swell but cause no pain. Humans have 500+ lymph nodes in the body which are basically “forts” of immunity. When they swell, it is often indicative of the body initiating an immune response against some type of microscopic invader. You may notice these lumps in the course of your daily routine, such as when showering or applying creams, etc. The symptoms outlined most often only indicate a possible lymphoma if they are discovered in addition to swollen lymph nodes.
2. Losing Weight
Typically, sudden weight loss will occur over a period of several months with no good reason.
Weight loss can range from a few pounds to up to 20 or so.
3. Running a Fever
A random fever that keeps occurring for no good reason (i.e., is not connected with a flu, cold, etc.) is usually an indication to go see your physician. Symptoms of lymphoma can be confused with symptoms of other illnesses and, in fact, a lymphoma that causes fever accompanied by lymph node swelling is frequently mistaken for a flu or something similar. Additionally, in those afflicted by a Hodgkins type lymphoma, a quintessential type of fever termed Pel-Ebstein fever can develop.
4. Night Sweats
Excess sweating at night may find you waking up soaked in your own sweat.
5. Pruritis (Itchiness)
Lymphoma cells can secrete certain substance which cause the entire body to be itchy, a condition known as pruritis.
6. Lack of Appetite
Individuals with lymphoma can experience a drop in their usual appetite which can also cause weight loss, one of the other symptoms of lymphoma listed above.
7. Fatigue and Listlessness
Cancer cells hijack the body’s energy resource that would otherwise be utilized by healthy cells, causing a drop in energy levels.
Depending upon where a lymphoma grows (and it can occur in any organ of the body), it may compress and block off veins, effectively limiting blood supply and causing swelling. Site-specific lymphomas produce rather widely varying symptoms. A lymphoma of the brain may cause pains in one’s legs while a lymphoma in the stomach can cause stomach pains.
General Symptoms of Lymphoma in Women and General Symptoms of Lymphoma in Men
The first and most obvious sign of lymphoma is adenopathy, aka lymphadenopathy, which is a painless swelling of the lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes by themselves, however, are NOT necessarily an indication of lymphoma. It requires medical testing to confirm or negate the diagnosis. Symptoms of lymphoma can come in many varieties, dependent upon the location of the lymphoma, the stage of growth, size of tumor, etc.
Symptoms linked with bone marrow issues such as becoming anemic (having a low red blood cell count) are uncommon in the beginning stages of a lymphoma but often are seen later in the game and often as a result of treatment.
MALT (Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue) lymphomas affect any mucosal site, the stomach being the most common one. Alterations in bowel movement and stomach pains can be indications. As far as the stomach lymphoma goes, if it is a result of infection with the H. Pylori bacterium, antibiotic treatment can cause the lymphoma to regress in 70%+ of cases.
How To Report Your Symptoms To A Doctor Effectively:
- Describe the intensity of your symptom on a scale such as “This hurts about a 7 out of 10″.
- For visually observable symptoms, show them to the doctor and also explain how they started off and looked like initially.
- Explain when you first experienced your symptoms
- How long have you been experiencing this symptom?
- Is the symptom constant or does it come and go?
- Describe any medications or dietary supplements you take/did take starting from the time symptoms manifested.
- Do the symptoms change depending upon body positioning, time of day, etc.?
- Do certain foods trigger the symptoms?
Be as descriptive as possible. The more accurate and specific the information you give, the more your doctor will be able to pinpoint the nature of your problem (if you have any!) and the better he/she will be able to treat you and advise you.