Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What Are The Signs That You Have Cancerous Lymph Node?

Some signs and symptoms can be specifically noted in order to see whether the lymph nodes are cancerous or not. The most common sign is occurrence of enlarged lymph nodes, also known as lymphadenopathy. Also, these lymph nodes are generally painless, though in some cases they might be painful. When the lymph nodes in one particular area get enlarged, there might be a possibility of an infection in that area. However, if the enlarged or swollen lymph nodes are found in more than one area and anywhere throughout the body, this raises a suspicion more towards a lymphoma.

What Are The Signs That You Have Cancerous Lymph Node?

Night sweats may be a distinct feature in some cases, as the other signs and symptoms may be absent, but only the presence of night sweats may be enough to alarm a person and prompt one for seeking immediate medical help. There may even be frequent episodes of fever.

There may also be severe fatigue and tiredness, especially if the lymphoma affects the bone marrow, and as a result the RBC production is interfered, resulting in anemia. The presence of cancer cells in the chest may result in chest pain, coughing and breathlessness, due to the bulk of enlarged lymph nodes putting pressure on the nearby organs. Similarly, the presence of cancer cells in spleen or liver may cause a feeling of fullness or bloating in the stomach.

The treatment of the cancerous lymph nodes or lymphoma depends on the type and also the place of cancer. Any presence of lymph nodes, especially the ones presenting with above symptoms and those that are painless and appear abruptly are not to be ignored. Medical attention is to be sought immediately, to rule out cancer.

Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are a part of our lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system also consists of spleen, thymus gland and bone marrow, apart from the lymph nodes. A cancer of any of these areas is known as a lymphoma. The lymphoma is primarily classified into two types- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Both of these types start in the lymphatic system. Both of these types are very common types of lymphomas, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are even more common.

Signs And Symptoms of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, there might be a swelling of lymph nodes in the armpits, neck or groin region. There may be night sweats and fatigue. There also may be weight loss without any apparent cause. Also, there may be fever at times.

Causes of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

There are no definite causes of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, it occurs when lymphocyte- a type of white blood cell, undergoes a gene mutation. This mutation results in a rapid multiplication of the cells. Also, the old cells do not die, and the new, diseased cells keep growing and they do not die either. This results in excess accumulation of cells in the lymph nodes, which makes them to enlarge and swell.

There are many types of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The course of treatment depends upon the type of the Hodgkin’s lymphoma one is suffering from.

Signs And Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

The signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are very similar to that of Hodgkin lymphoma. It may involve the swelling of lymph nodes, in the areas of armpits, neck or groin. There may be fatigue and headaches. There may also be weight loss and abdominal or chest pain.

Causes of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Similar to Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are also not specifically known. Here also, the mechanism works the same as above.

The major difference between the two types of lymphomas is the type of cell that is affected in each type of the lymphomas. If a pathology expert can see the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells in the lymphoma, it is called as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In the absence of these cells, it is classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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