Signs and Symptoms of Hodgkin Lymphoma

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Hodgkin Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are part of the body’s immune system. The most common symptom of Hodgkin Lymphoma is swelling of the lymph nodes, which is a painless lump under the skin most commonly in the neck, under the arm or in the groin area.

However, swollen lymph nodes can also be a side effect of a viral infection like the common cold or the flu. If an infection is the cause, the swollen node should return to its normal size a few weeks after the infection clears up. If you haven’t had a recent infection, however, and have an enlarged lymph node, you should have it examined by a physician.

Important Symptoms to Discuss with your Hematologist

If you receive a diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma, you will most likely receive treatment from a doctor who specializes in hematology.

Because symptoms are used as part of the staging process in Hodgkin Lymphoma, it is important to be honest and complete in sharing symptoms or unusual things you might be experiencing. This ensures accurate staging and treatment planning.

Please note: all of the following symptoms can be associated with other health conditions and are not a definite sign of Hodgkin Lymphoma:

  • Fever without an infection
  • Night sweats
  • Unintended weight loss (at least 10% of body weight over a 6-month period)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Itching skin
  • Abdominal pain or swelling, sometimes due to an enlarged spleen or liver

Respiratory Problems Can Also be a Symptom of Hodgkin Lymphoma

If Hodgkin Lymphoma affects lymph nodes inside the chest, people may suffer from:

  • Chest pain
  • Labored breathing
  • Persistent coughing

As mentioned above, many of these symptoms are also typically caused by an infection, so having one or more of them doesn’t guarantee that you will be diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. However, we recommend having these symptoms checked by your doctor to determine the cause and begin treatment, if needed.

At New York Oncology Hematology, our team of physicians use advanced therapy options to treat blood cancers, including Hodgkin Lymphoma, creating a personalized care plan for each patient.