Signs & Symptoms

Hodgkin Lymphoma

Often there are no symptoms, but about 40% of people will have some vague signs of the disease. If symptoms do occur, they may include:

  • Persistent, painless swelling of lymph nodes, especially in the neck, underarm, or groin
  • Unexplained fevers, tiredness, night sweats, weight loss, and itching
  • Cough, shortness of breath, chest discomfort
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Alcohol-induced pain

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Often the first sign of NHL is swelling of the lymph nodes, usually in the neck, underarm, or groin. However, because the enlargement is painless, the symptom is easily ignored. Only about 20% of those with NHL have systemic symptoms. When they do occur, symptoms include:

  • Fever that doesn't go away
  • Night sweats
  • Constant tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Itching

Because there are so many forms of NHL involving different organs, signs and symptoms vary, often depending on the areas of the body or systems affected.

Advanced Lymphoma

  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged spleen, resulting in abdominal distension

Lymphoma Involving the Gastrointestinal Tract

  • Palpable abdominal mass
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding

Lymphoma Involving the Bone Marrow

  • Symptoms of anemia, such as pallor, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and rapid heart beat
  • Recurrent infections
  • Increased bruising
  • Petechiae

Lymphoma Involving the Urinary Tract

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Renal failure

Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Flat, raised patches on the skin (plaques)
  • Skin tumors of various types (for example, isolated dark patches, raised thick nodules, or oozing ulcerated lesions), depending on the exact type of CTCL and the stage of growth