What Is A Lymphoma Lump?
A lymphoma lump is usually a swelling of the lymph nodes, which can be as a result of cancer or other infections. However, swellings caused by infections usually go away with time, but lymph node inflammation due to cancer is persistent. Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that attacks white blood cells known as lymphocytes which are usually located in lymph nodes. The human body has hundreds of lymph nodes in different parts of the body including the spleen, armpits, neck, arms, bone marrow, thymus, groin, abdomen, and legs. Lymphomas grow at different rates and different types of lymphocytes may be involved with different types of lymphomas.
What Causes Swelling Of Lymph Nodes Due To Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is characterized by abnormal growth of lymphocyte cells. They are a type of white blood cells that fight against pathogens. During the development of lymphoma, the cancerous cells may be growing at a very fast rate causing many cancerous cells to be formed. Since the lymphocytes are bathed in the lymphatic fluid, which travels through various lymph nodes in the body, the extra cells can be deposited in these nodes causing them to swell. However, the lymphoma starts from one node and progresses into other nodes as cancer progresses.
How Does A Lymphoma Lump Feel?
Patients with lymphomas usually have lymphoma lumps that are basically inflamed lymph nodes, which are usually painless. Lymph nodes, also referred to as lymph glands are usually bean shaped and normally about 0.5 to 1.5 cm in diameter. A swollen lymph node will be larger than the normal size, and depending on the site of lymphoma, the size will vary. The lumps can appear anywhere in the body especially in the extremities, neck, armpits, and abdomen. For patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the lumps can arise anywhere in the body while in patients with Hodgkin lymphoma; the lumps appear on the upper part of the body.
If the affected lymph nodes aren’t close to the skin surface, then it can be difficult to note whether one has swollen nodes or not. Nonetheless, one may exhibit other symptoms which may indicate the swelling of the nodes. It is important to note that inflammation of a lymph nodes can be caused by various factors other than cancer. Therefore, you may need a biopsy to correctly diagnose the cause of a swollen lymph node.
Early Symptoms Of Lymphoma
Apart from the presence of a lymphoma lump, a patient with lymphoma can experience the following early signs of the condition:
- Flu-like illness including coughing and sore throat
- Enlarged tonsils
- Night Sweats
- Chills or fevers
- Loss of appetite
- Unexpected weight loss
- A feeling of bloating
- A feeling of nausea and vomiting
- An itchy red rash on the skin
- Abnormal pressure and congestion in the neck and chest
- Difficulty breathing
- In advanced cases of lymphoma, the painless swollen nodes may become painful.
Diagnosing Lymphoma Lumps
To determine the nature of a swollen lymph node (lump), a biopsy may be required. It involves removing a small portion of the tissue and examining it for cancerous cells. In addition to that, other tests may be conducted such as a blood test to check for infections and levels of the lymphocyte cells. An X-ray or CT-scan can also be done to determine whether there are any enlarged organs especially the spleen and liver. A bone marrow exam can also be performed to assess the presence of a lymphoma.
A swollen lymph node can be an indicator of various ailments, cancer included. In case of a lymphoma lump, the lymph glands swell due to the accumulation of excess cancerous cells in the nodes. The lumps are usually painless and depending on the form of lymphoma one is diagnosed with, the lumps can appear anywhere in the body. For patients whose swollen nodes are located deep inside the body, they may exhibit other symptoms such as flu-like illness. Since different factors can cause lymph glands to swell, a correct diagnosis would need to be established, so as to offer the right form of treatment.
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