Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms can vary widely in accordance with where it is in the body. In certain circumstances, the cancer may not have any indicators until it grows large.
According to the American Cancer Society, the following are the most common signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in different parts of the body:
Swollen or Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can cause lymph nodes to enlarge. When this happens in lymph nodes near the surface of the skin – such as in the sides of the neck, groin, underarm area and above the collar bone – it may be seen as a lump.
Swollen lymph nodes are most often detected by patients, family members or health care professionals. While this is one of the most common non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms, swollen lymph nodes are much more often caused by other infections.
Tender or Swollen Abdomen
If non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is present in the abdomen, it can cause the belly to feel tender or swollen. This can be the result of enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen or fluid build-up.
Lymphoma can also cause the spleen to enlarge so that it presses on the stomach. When this happens, patients can feel like they are full even when they haven’t been eating very much food.
When lymphoma is present in the intestines, it can cause swelling, which leads to obstruction of the bowels. This can cause patients to experience abdominal pain, vomiting or nausea. Lymphoma in the intestines can also cause holes in the intestinal wall, which allows the contents of the intestines to leak into the abdominal cavity. When this happens, patients are susceptible to severe infections and can feel serious abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting.
Chest Pain or Pressure
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma starting in the chest area, specifically in the thymus or lymph nodes in the chest, can cause pressure on the windpipe (trachea), making it difficult to breathe. Lymphoma in this area often causes coughing or chest pain/pressure.
Lymphoma in the thymus or lymph nodes in the chest can also push on the superior vena cava (SVC), which is the vein that carries blood from the arms and head back to the heart. When this happens, blood can back up and pool in the veins, leading to swelling in the head (often bluish or reddish color), upper chest and arms. It can also affect breathing and a change in consciousness if the brain is affected. Known as SVC syndrome, this condition can be life-threatening and should be treated immediately.
Primary Brain Lymphomas
Primary brain lymphomas (lymphoma of the brain) can cause headaches, difficulty thinking, personality changes, weakness in certain parts of the body, and seizures, in some cases. Other types of lymphoma can spread to the brain or the spinal cord, which can cause double vision, difficulty speaking or facial numbness.
Skin lymphoma doesn’t look the same for all patients. However, they often appear as flat, red patches that can be mistaken for eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. They can also be purple lumps or nodules under the skin.
Other General Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms
In addition to the signs and symptoms to look out for in specific parts of the body, you should also be aware of some general non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms, which doctors refer to as B symptoms.
B symptoms are most common in cases where the cancer is growing rapidly. They not only help doctors diagnose the disease, they can also help in determining what stage the cancer is in and what the prognosis is.
Be aware of the following general non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms:
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Heavy Night Sweats
When lymphoma cells are in the bone marrow, they can overrun the healthy cells that form new blood cells. This crowding out of healthy blood cells can cause:
- Frequent Infections – Due to low white blood cell counts
- Bruising or Bleeding Easily – Due to low platelet counts
- Persistent Fatigue, Weakness or Tiredness – Due to low red blood cell counts
- Anemia – Due to lymphoma cells destroying red blood cells
Exposure to Glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Many of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms listed above can be related to other issues or diseases that aren’t cancer. However, if you have been using a glyphosate herbicide, such as Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, it is important to go see a health care professional as soon as possible if any of these symptoms should develop in order to get a proper diagnosis.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has found a statistically significant positive association between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If you were exposed to glyphosate and were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, contact the Monsanto Roundup cancer attorneys at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman to review your claim.