Causes And Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma
The cause of most non-Hodgkin lymphomas is unknown. However, lymphomas are more likely to develop in people who have taken drugs to prevent rejection of an organ transplant or who have lowered immunity, for example due to HIV or Aids. Despite the increased risk, NHL is still uncommon in people with these conditions.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also slightly more common in people who have been treated for cancer before. Some chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy treatments can increase a person’s risk of developing NHL many years later. The risk is very small, however, compared to the benefit of having the treatment in the first place.
Certain viruses, such as the Epstein-Barr virus, which
causes glandular fever, or the human T-cell lymphoma virus 1 (HTLV1) can contribute to the development
of lymphomas. However, like other cancers, lymphomas themselves are not
infectious and cannot be passed on to other people One type of lymphoma, which usually affects the stomach
– MALT lymphoma – is known to be caused by a type of bacterial infection
known as helicobacter pylori.People who have coeliac disease (an allergy to gluten which can cause inflammation of
the small bowel) have a slightly increased risk of developing B-cell NHL or a rare type of T-cell lymphoma called
enteropathy type T-cell lymphoma (ETTL).
Signs and Symptoms
The most typical symptom of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and Hodgkin disease (HD) is a painless
swelling in one or more lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin. But it's crucial to keep in
mind that most lymph node enlargement, particularly in youngsters, is brought on by an infection
rather than cancer.However, the doctor may decide to take an urgent biopsy to rule out or confirm
a diagnosis of cancer if a lymph node or nodes are greater than one inch in size (> 1 in), if there
are additional suspicious signs, or both.
Other lymphoma symptoms include the following:
- Chest pain
- General symptoms, also sometimes called B symptoms
If lymphoma involves the lymphatic tissue of the thymus, the gland located in front of the heart,
it may cause chest pain. In addition, an enlarged thymus may press on nearby structures such as
the trachea (windpipe) or superior vena cava (SVC), the large vein that carries blood from the head
and arms back to the heart.
Pressure on the trachea can lead to coughing, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other respiratory
difficulties. SVC syndrome, which causes the limbs and head to expand, can be brought on by pressure
on the superior vena cava. Brain-related SVC syndrome should be addressed very away since it can be deadly.
However, larger lymphatic tissue in the chest cavity typically has the opposite effect of pressing on or
encasing nearby structures, dislodging it instead. As a result, SVC syndrome and impaired breathing are very
rare symptoms of lymphoma.
lymphoma progresses and cancerous lymphocytes spread beyond the lymphatic system, the body loses its
ability to fight infections. The generalized symptoms that develop may be confused with influenza
(the flu), other infections, such as infectious
mononucleosis ("mono") and tuberculosis (TB),
or other cancers. In particular, people with HD or NHL may experience the following:
- Drenching night sweats
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Red patches on the skin
- Severely itchy skin, often affecting the legs/feet