Know Your NodesLymphoma Coalition

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Know the Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoma

Although the number of people diagnosed with lymphoma each year is on the rise, many still don't know about this life-threatening form of cancer.

It's important that everyone knows the signs and symptoms of lymphoma because it can save your life.  Signs and symptoms can be similar to other, less serious illnesses, making diagnosis sometimes challenging.  Lymphoma is often misdiagnosed as menopause, the flu, allergies or fatigue. However an early and accurate diagnosis is important, because if untreated, some types of lymphoma can be fatal within a short period of time.

By knowing your nodes, you will better understand your lymphatic system, as well as know the signs and symptoms of lymphoma.  If signs and symptoms are detected early, there is a better chance for a quicker diagnosis, treatment and overall survival.

Know the Signs, Know the Symptoms

  • Painless swelling in the upper body lymph nodes, which can be felt in places like your neck, collarbone region, armpits or groin
  • Fevers, especially at night
  • Drenching night sweats
  • Chills or temperature swings
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness or lack of energy
  • Persistent coughing
  • Breathlessness
  • Persistent itch all over the body without an apparent cause or rash
  • General fatigue over a long period of time
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Headache, dizziness, bleeding

Most people who have complaints like these will not have lymphoma.  However, it is important that any person who has persistent symptoms see their doctor for a full medical check up.  Remember that you can ask for a second opinion or follow-up appointment if you feel your concerns have not been fully addressed.

If you suspect that you, a family member, friend, or loved one may have lymphoma, talk to your doctor right away.  Early and correct diagnosis of the lymphoma makes an impact on treatment and outcome.  Insist on seeing a lymphoma specialist if you are diagnosed with lymphoma in order to be diagnosed with the correct subtype and to receive the correct treatment.

Find out how much you know about your lymph nodes and lymphatic system by taking the “Know your Nodes” quiz.
For more information on lymphoma and the signs and symptoms, visit the Lymphoma Coalition website at

© Lymphoma Coalition - Revised 2017