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Lymphoma Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Risk Factors

  • Symptoms: In non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, symptoms may include painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin; fever; night sweats; fatigue; unexpected weight loss; itchy skin; reddened patches on the skin; cough or shortness of breath; and pain in the abdomen or back.
  • Diagnosis: To diagnose lymphoma, your doctor may perform a physical exam and a lymph node biopsy.
  • Treatment: Treatment options for non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphoma include watchful waiting, radiation, chemotherapy, and monoclonal antibody therapy.
  • Risk Factors: The exact cause of lymphoma is unknown. Men are more likely than women to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the likelihood of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases with age. An immune system deficiency, a compromised immune system, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, certain genetic conditions, stomach ulcers, and HIV are also considered risk factors. Viral infections such as hepatitis C or mononucleosis and exposure to certain chemicals also increase the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most common in young adults (ages 15 – 35) and older adults (over age 50) and in men. People who develop mononucleosis after childhood are at higher risk of developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as are those with an immune deficiency, compromised immune system, or AIDS.
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