Get answers to your Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma questions.
Lymphoma - non-Hodgkin's; Lymphocytic lymphoma; Histiocytic lymphoma; Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Cancer - non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can cause a variety of symptoms. Symptoms depend on what area of the body is affected by the cancer and how fast the cancer is growing.
Symptoms may include:
Coughing or shortness of breath may occur if the cancer affects the thymus gland or lymph nodes in the chest, which may put pressure on the windpipe (trachea) or other airways.
Some patients may have abdominal pain or swelling, which may lead to a loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
If the cancer affects cells in the brain, the person may have a headache, concentration problems, personality changes, or seizures.
The doctor will perform a physical exam and check body areas with lymph nodes to feel if they are swollen.
The disease may be diagnosed after:
Other tests that may be done include:
If tests reveal you do cancer, additional tests will be done to see if it has spread. This is called staging. Staging helps guide future treatment and follow-up and gives you some idea of what to expect in the future.
Bierman PJ, Harris N, Armitage JO. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 196.
Wilson WH, Armitage JO. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 112.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas. 2011. Version 1.2011.
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