Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Symptoms

What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in your lymphatic (lymph) system. The lymph system is part of your immune system.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma may not cause symptoms right away. Slow-growing lymphoma, also called indolent lymphoma, may not cause symptoms until it grows very large. Aggressive lymphoma grows and spreads quickly. It can cause severe symptoms.

When lymphoma does cause symptoms, they can often seem like other health problems at first. This is because non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause many different kinds of symptoms. It depends on where it starts in your body and the kind of lymphoma it is.

Older man displaying symptoms of fatigue

Here are some common symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma:

  • Swollen, often painless, lymph nodes in the neck, groin, underarm, or above the collarbone

  • Fever without an infection

  • Chills

  • Feeling very tired

  • Swelling in the belly (abdomen)

  • Feeling full after eating only a small amount

  • Upset stomach (nausea), vomiting, or stomach pain

  • Coughing, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing

  • Chest pain or pressure

  • Swelling in your head and arms (called superior vena cava syndrome)

  • Headaches

  • Trouble thinking or moving parts of your body

  • Itchy, red or purple lumps under the skin

  • Infections that come back

  • Abnormal sweating, especially at night

  • Losing weight without trying

  • Easy bleeding or bruising

When to see your healthcare provider

Many of these symptoms are more often caused by other health problems. Still, it’s important to see a healthcare provider if you have these symptoms. Only a healthcare provider can tell if you have cancer.

Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals BSN MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: Kimberly Stump-Sutliff RN MSN AOCNS
Online Medical Reviewer: Todd Gersten MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2022
© 2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare provider's instructions.