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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma symptoms

The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

The swelling is caused by an excess of affected lymphocytes collecting in your lymph node.

Swollen nodes or glands are a common response to infection, so if you have swollen nodes do not panic; it is highly unlikely they are the result of lymphoma.

Symptoms of advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Other symptoms will usually only begin once the cancer has spread through most or all of your lymphatic system.

This causes the lymphatic system to stop working properly, which weakens your immune response.

Symptoms of advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • unexplained tiredness or fatigue
  • night sweats or fever
  • unexplained poor appetite and/or weight loss
  • trouble getting over infections
  • pain in the chest or abdomen (which may be caused by an enlarged spleen)
  • unexplained, persistent cough
  • itchy skin all over the body

Other symptoms will depend on where in the body the enlarged lymph glands are.

Last reviewed: December 2017

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