Signs and Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

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Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is serious form of blood cancer that impacts the lymphocytes (a particular kind of white blood cells). The worst and most recognizable feature of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the rapidly-increasing rate of growth of the lymphocytes which then proceed to crowd and ultimately damage the lymph nodes.

It’s worth noting, however, that contrary to what people generally assume because of the name of the disease, although Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma spreads to the lymph tissue/nodes, that is not their starting point.

As with all diseases, a number of symptoms are typically associated with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Excessive sweating, to the point where clothing items appear to have been drenched in water while the person sleeps is a common indicator of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Similarly, the painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, collarbone, armpits or groin is also a well-known flag. Size of this swelling is usually a key factor when it comes to analyzing the severity of the disease.

Other popular symptoms of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include, but aren’t limited to: abdominal pain, chest pains, coughing fits, shortness of breath, fatigue, fever and excessive itching.

The tests utilized in order to determine whether or not someone is suffering from this disease are: blood tests, X-ray, MRI, CT scan and PET scans.

Like any other disease, the only surefire way to find out if you have developed it is consulting with your physician.

I never had any of those

I never had any of those symptoms when I was diagnosed. It took the doctors 4 years to finally diagnose me, the only symptom I had was a pain in my upper right thigh. That was it. I went to an orthopedist and he took an x-ray, there was a whitened area that showed up, but he had no idea what it was. He sent me to a "orthopedist oncologist" who thought for sure I had a tumor on my spine, he did all kinds of testing, nothing showed up. Well, eventually the pain got worse, so I had switched to another orthopedist, he told me he thought I should see a doctor at M. D. Anderson which I did, and brought lots of my films with me. I kept them at home with me, because they would tend to disappear at times, and I wasn't going to return them. The same thing, the radiologists at M. D. Anderson saw them nothing. The doctor suggested doing follow up MRI's every 3 to 6 months to see if anything changed. Well, eventually one of my MRI's showed an enlarged lymph node in my pelvis and that's what got everything rolling. I was told that lymphoma is very elusive it doesn't show up in alot of tests, blood being one of them. I did not have any solid tumors. My diagnosis: Stage 4, Large Diffuse B-cell Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, had 6 round of chemo, and have been in remission for 4 years. I go next week for what we hope is my final 6 month checkup, if cancer is still gone, I will be an official "5 year survivor", pls keep me in your prayers!

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