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Understanding Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer and the third most common childhood cancer in the world.

Although there are many types of lymphoma they all originate in the white blood cells (lymphocytes) that are part of the immune system. These cells are meant to protect the body against infection, but sometimes they become diseased themselves. The exact cause of this cancer is unknown.


A diagramattical example of Lymphoma cells' relation with vaccines 

As defined, cancer refers to a condition wherein several cells in a person’s own body behave in a very abnormal manner. What makes diseases caused by cancer cells hard to treat is that the cells multiply and affects how the specific organ works. In the case of lymphoma, the organ that is greatly affected is the lymph system which will eventually disable it. This section and the articles contained here will help you understand Lymphoma.

General Symptoms of Lymphoma

Our latest community service announcment highlights the most common signs and symptoms. #NoOneLikesaLump

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Lymphoma can present a range of symptoms based on a range of circumstances, as outlined in the below table:

Symptoms & Locations of Lymphoma 

Symptom General Location in the Body

Painless lymph node enlargement

>2cm most common often in the neck, underarm or groin

Fevers, night sweats, tiredness, weight loss >10%

As lymphoma can trigger an immune response it can cause symptoms similar to those that develop when the body is fighting an infection

 Widespread itching

Caused by immune cell histamine release similar to the itching of allergic conditions. Sometimes triggered by alcohol

Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain

If lymphoma is affecting the digestive tract

Shortness of breath, cough

If lymphoma is affecting the chest

Headaches, vision changes, seizures

If lymphoma is affecting the brain


If lymphoma is affecting the red blood cells

Susceptible to infections eg shingles

If lymphoma is crowding out the bone marrow

Reddened patches on the skin

Can occur if lymphoma cells localised there causing inflammation

Often there are no symptoms present, generally they are of a non-specific nature making diagnosis difficult.