HealthLymphoma: Signs to watch out for regardless of your age

Lymphoma: Signs to watch out for regardless of your age

Weight loss is one of the key symptoms of lymphoma.
Weight loss is one of the key symptoms of lymphoma.
Images source: © Getty Images | Innocenti

3:08 PM EDT, July 7, 2024

People aged 20 to 30, as well as those over 50, can develop lymphatic system cancer. The symptoms of lymphoma can be nonspecific, making them easily confused with other ailments. They often appear several months before a proper diagnosis is made. Here’s what to mainly watch out for.

The lymphatic system includes lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, bone marrow, and thymus. Its main function is to protect the body from infections. Unfortunately, it is also very sensitive. The lymphatic system is susceptible to various types of lymphomas such as multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, skin lymphomas, and Hodgkin lymphoma, also known as malignant lymphoma.

Lymphoma strikes at practically any age

Significant risk factors include chronic viral and bacterial infections, genetic predispositions, and toxic substances present in our environment. Since there are as many as 103 types of lymphoma, the symptoms can be diverse and often not evident. In many cases, they can be mistaken for a cold, skin problems, or an allergic reaction to alcohol.

Patients with lymphoma may experience fever in the afternoon, enlarged lymph nodes, bloating, coughing, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, and difficulty urinating. Tumors may also be in atypical locations, pressing on internal organs and causing paralysis, paresthesia, jaundice, or respiratory infections. One of the early symptoms of lymphoma can be weight loss unrelated to diet or weight loss medications. Therefore, monitoring weight is very important.

Monitor your weight. It's an important symptom

In an interview with WP abcZdrowie, Prof. Dr. Andrzej Nowak, head of the Hematology and Transplantology Clinic at the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk, emphasizes that unjustified weight loss is one of the critical symptoms. Even though the patient is not dieting, we observe a significant reduction in body weight without any other ailments. This could be the first symptom of lymphoma, preceding diagnosis by several months.

Remember, none of the mentioned symptoms should be ignored. Action is crucial in this case. Quick diagnosis and proper treatment implementation can significantly increase the chances of recovery, even in very aggressive forms of lymphoma.

An important fact is that many forms of lymphoma can be cured entirely, and many people live with this cancer as a chronic disease for 20-30 years. It all depends on early recognition.

Related content