Lymphoma - Symptoms & Causes

Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and tissues that helps fight infection. It develops in white blood cells called lymphocytes, which can grow abnormally and form tumours in various parts of the body.

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Lymphoma Symptoms

Lymphoma can show up in various ways. Sometimes, these signs might be mistaken for less serious health issues, so it's essential to check with a doctor if you have concerns.

Common symptoms include:

  • Painless Lymph Node Swelling:

You might notice lumps in your neck, armpits, or groin that aren't painful.

  • Feeling Really Tired:

This kind of tiredness doesn't go away, even after you rest.

  • Fever and Sweating at Night:

You might have unexplained fevers or sweat a lot in your sleep.

  • Breathlessness and Cough:

You might find it hard to breathe, sometimes with a cough.

  • Weight Loss Without Trying:

You haven't changed your eating or exercise habits, but you're still losing weight.

  • Itchy Skin:

Your skin itches for no apparent reason.

  • Other Signs:

You generally feel weak or under the weather.

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Lymphoma Causes & Risk Factors

We don't know for sure what causes lymphoma. It starts when something goes wrong with one of your white blood cells, leading to many unhealthy cells. These harmful cells don't die off like they should, which can cause problems in your lymph nodes and other parts of your body.

Some things might make you more likely to get lymphoma

Your Age:

Certain types of lymphoma are more common in certain age groups. Some types are seen in younger people, while others are more frequent in people over 55.

Your Gender:

Men are more likely to get lymphoma than women.

Weak Immune System:

If your immune system is not as strong, your risk increases.

Past Infections:

The Epstein-Barr virus and other infections can increase your chances.

Other Risk Factors:

These include being older (especially for non-Hodgkin lymphoma), having a family history of lymphoma, being around certain chemicals, previous treatments for cancer, or having conditions where your immune system attacks your body, like rheumatoid arthritis.


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