Lymphoma's Primary Symptoms
- “The Dan Bongino Show” host had a tumor on his neck removed last week; he first thought it was a lipoma (fatty tissue), but after surgery he believes he has lymphoma.
- Lymphoma is a blood disease that affects the white blood cells.
- Some of the 6 symptoms to look out for include: fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and night sweats.
While we don’t have confirmation yet on Bongino’s official diagnosis, we are thinking of him and wishing him a speedy recovery. Many of his fans following Bongino’s health journey may be wondering: What is lymphoma?
This lymphatic system is the part of your body that fights diseases and germs, and lymphocytes play an important part in your immune system. Lymphoma begins in the body when the white blood cells, lymphocytes, develop a genetic mutation.
There are two primary types of lymphoma: Hodgkin Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The distinction between the two lies in which type of lymphocyte is affected, and this will be determinied by your doctor following an examination of the cells.
In Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of cell called Reed-Sternberg cells are present. In Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, they are not.
Possible Signs of Lymphoma
There are some signs to look out for that may indicate lymphoma. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to be mindful about your body, new bumps or bruises that appear, and how you are feeling on a day-to-day basis. If something feels off in your body, don’t push that nagging feeling under the rug – pay attention to it.
Dr. Jason Westin, an oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, tells SurvivorNet, “The main symptoms of [Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma] are hard to pick up because they’re not specific for cancer only….people can feel tired, they can have a swollen lymph node, and they can just not feel like things are going right. There’s not a symptom [for NHL] that’s classically defined. So, many patients are treated for a potential infection. Their doctor may try antibiotics for a while. [If the] swollen lymph node doesn’t get better, then a biopsy is obtained.”
Here are some symptoms to pay attention to, when it comes to lymphoma. When found alone, they may not be an indicator of of possible cancer, but having one or more of these symptoms in a persistent fashion may be cause for concern. It’s important to know your body.
1. Swelling of lymph nodes
If you’re experiencing swelling or enlargement of the lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin area, then this could be a sign of lymphoma or another condition, and you should see a doctor no matter what.
Persistent fatigue is cited as a symptom of lymphoma. As the year goes on, and the days turn shorter and colder, some amount of fatigue is to be expected. But if you find yourself more tired than normal at this time of year, you may want to consult with your doctor.
A fever is the signal that your body is trying to fight infection or disease. With the COVID-19 pandemic, a fever could also point to coronavirus infection. It’s also a sign of lymphoma. If you have a persistent fever, for weeks at a time, you should see a doctor.
4. Night Sweats
Who doesn’t get a little flushed under the hot covers sometimes? But if you’re experiencing sweating at night, more so than is typical for you, that may be cause for concern, and could point to lymphoma. “Drenching” sweating – the kind where you have to change your clothes and the sheets – is a sign that something is wrong.
5. Unexplained Weight Loss
This is a stressful year for many, due to economic hardship, virus-related fears and anxieties, and being homebound. For some, stress leads to weight loss. Unexplained weight loss – specifically, losing 10 percent of your nomal body weight in the prior six moths or less – can point to more serious concerns than stress, like lymphoma, or other diseases. If you continue to lose weight without trying to, speak to your doctor, as well as a nutritionist, if needed.
6. Itchy Skin
Heading into fall and winter, our skin tends to get a bit dry and less silky smooth that it may have been during humid, warmer months. But persistitent itchy skin for weeks on end – be it the result of dryness, or another factor – is reason enough to see a doctor.
Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms, and if something feels off to you – contact your physician and investigate it. Take Bongino’s lead, and be an advocate for your health.
What Are The Symptoms of Lymphoma?