Editor’s note: I highly recommend that you watch the video on the right side!
It is easy to miss the Lymphoma Symptoms in Women. It is because most women take these symptoms as just some other standard form of discomfort. They do not think much about these symptoms, as they often have to go through many such symptoms and ignore it as a symptom from normal health condition.
Nevertheless, before moving onto the Lymphoma Symptoms in women, let us have a look at what Lymphoma is. Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells that play a major role in helping our body to fight various kinds of infections and diseases as part of our immune system.
Most of the women patients have complained about experiencing lumps in their lymph nodes in some definite part of their body. These lumps form in the neck, armpit or groin area. Some of the patients have also told that they experienced a sudden change in their weight. They started to lose weight rapidly without any reason. They have also experienced itching on skin.
These symptoms can easily be associated with non-threatening health issues as well. This is the main difficulty in recognizing the lymphoma symptoms. This is why; many women do not go for health checkups and thus do not get treatment until the disease has developed into further stage. Late diagnosis can lead to complications. Late diagnosis occurs not because of the ignorance but because of the symptoms of lymphoma as these are common symptoms to many other minor health conditions. If Lymphoma can be diagnosed in earlier stages then it can be regressed even if the treatments might not be able to completely cure it.
This is why; it is necessary to learn more about Lymphoma symptoms in women. Let us look more deeply into the symptoms that come with Lymphoma.
- Swollen Nodes: This is the most common lymphoma symptom. Humans have more than five hundred lymph nodes in their body. They swell when some kind of problem persists in the immune system
The cancer cells make t-cells grow in abundant amount and thus the lymphoma nodes swell. These swollen lumps appear mainly in the neck, armpit and groin area. However, these lumps are painless. Even though the swollen nodes are not painful, they can easily be noticed as they appear in the surface of the skin. Lymph nodes can also swell because of other health issues as well. Therefore, before you start to panic, you should consult with your physician to do check up on you.
Check for swellings or lumps in neck, armpits and groin area when you shave, apply cream or shower.
- Rapid Loss Weight: Many of the lymphoma patients suffer from rapid and unexplained weight loss. It is harder for aged women to lose weight because of various factors. This is why, if you see that you are losing weight even after not following any kind of dietary plan or any kind of weight loss workout plan then you should consult with your physician.
If you have been experiencing weight loss for a period without any reason then consult with your doctor. Weight loss due to lymphoma can range from 0-20 pounds or more over a short timeframe.
- Abdominal Pain: Nodes in the abdominal area can be affected. As a result, the patient might experience abdominal pain and feel full even after not having much to eat. The patient might also experience constipation, abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea etc.
- Breathing Problem and Cough: As the nodes in the thymus gland swell, patients might also have breathing problem. The nodes in the chest area swell and put pressure on windpipe. This leads to breathing problem and coughs. Some might even experience blood with coughs. Shortness of breath might also occur.
- Fever: Patients might suffer from fever with chills. These fevers come and go suddenly. They come up as lymph nodes swell and usually they are mistaken as simple flu.
- Night Sweats: Patients suffer from night sweat. Even if the room temperature is normal or cold, the patient will experience night sweat and will wake to find bed sheets soaked with sweat.
It is important to monitor whether you are experiencing this kind of symptoms or not because lymphoma develops quietly. It takes some while to realize whether one has lymphoma or not. I hope that the aforementioned lymphoma symptoms on women will help you to be aware of this disease and should any of these symptoms arise, you should consult with your physician and check whether the symptoms are apparent due to lymphoma or due to other health condition.
In addition to this article, I recommend you read my other article: how to treat lymphoma
The appearance of the cancer cell under the microscope will help the experts find out whether the patient has Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Abnormalities in the B-cells would mean that the patient has Hodgkin’s lymphoma while abnormalities in either of the B or T cells or a combination of both would mean that the patient has Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The type of cell where the cancer cells come from, the kind of genetic mutations they carry, the type of proteins that the lymphoma cancer cells have on their surface, and the location where the cancer cells where found in the body will be taken into consideration to have proper diagnosis of a patient who is suspected to have lymphoma.
How to find out if you have this type of blood cancer?
To diagnose lymphoma, doctors would conduct a physical exam on the patient, and get a hold of his medical records and even those of his family as lymphoma is said to be hereditary. Manifestations of lymphoma symptoms are not enough for a person to be diagnosed with lymphoma. But it is necessary for anyone to seek immediate medical help once lymphoma symptoms are experienced. Once a visit to the doctor is done, the physician would assess the lymphoma symptoms by requiring several tests such as blood tests, and a check-up on the kidneys and the liver. Also, a test can be done to determine whether there is a presence of lactase hydrogenase, a substance that is associated with a serious form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Apart from these, imaging techniques may also be conducted on the patient to find out if lymphoma cancer cells have spread out to the body and to what extent have they metastasized. Such imaging techniques are X-rays, Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Lymph angiogram, Gallium scan and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans. A bone marrow examination may also be made to check if cancer cells have invaded the bone marrow.
This is an example of how MRI looks like:
In order to make a diagnosis of any form of cancer, doctors would have to remove a sample of the tumor and have a look at it under a microscope. This is called a biopsy. This may be done through surgical or laparoscopic methods. A pathologist would then examine the sample to find out whether the tumor is benign or malignant.
If a tumor is found to be malignant, doctors would try to determine the extent to which the cancer cells have spread. This would help them determine the stage of lymphoma. Knowing the particular stage of lymphoma or any other cancer for that matter would help doctors decide on the treatment that would be recommended for the patient.
As Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma have similar lymphoma symptoms, both also describe the stages similarly. Here are the stages for both Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
- Stage 1: This is the early stage of lymphoma where cancer cells are found in a single node in the lymph region.
- Stage 2: This is the advanced form of lymphoma where 2 or more lymph node regions and an organ or tissue are affected by lymphoma cancer cells.
- Stage 3: This is an advanced form of lymphoma where 2 or more lymph node regions and 2 or more organs are affected by the lymphoma cancer cells.
- Stage 4: This stage of lymphoma has the cancer cells widely spread all throughout the body including the nervous system.
Once a person is diagnosed with lymphoma, treatment (my article on lymphoma treatment) should begin as soon as possible. Knowledge of the four stages would indicate the importance of an early diagnosis of lymphoma to prevent serious complications and have a possible successful treatment. Along with the collaboration of the patient and the doctor and the support of the patient’s family, there is a chance that the patient’s battle against lymphoma will be won.
I found a video about a testimonial on youtube, check it out: