Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) begins when a lymphocyte changes into a cancer cell that divides and grows into more and more cancer cells. These cancer cells join together and form tumors (lymphomas) in the lymph nodes and elsewhere in the body.
Many people with NHL do not notice any symptoms. Their disease may be found during a routine physical exam or a blood test for another health problem. When people do notice symptoms, a swollen lymph node is the most common.
Other symptoms may be caused by the growth of tumors. These symptoms depend on where the tumor is growing. For example, a person may have stomach pain or indigestion if a tumor grows in or near the stomach.
Other common symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss (losing more than 10% of the body’s weight in 6 months)
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Very itchy skin
Because these symptoms can also be signs of other illnesses, a doctor will need to do several tests of the blood and lymph nodes before diagnosing NHL.
Learn how transplant can treat NHL.
MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2013 Sept 16; cited 2013 Sept 16]. Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/