Hodgkin lymphoma often develops in people between the ages of 16 and 34. These younger patients are usually otherwise healthy. Because of this, their bodies can withstand the disease without showing any symptoms for a long period of time.
Other times, the only symptom will be painless swelling of the lymph nodes usually in the neck or under the arm, as well as in the upper chest, abdomen and groin. Patients often visit a physician because of this swelling, which eventually leads to a diagnosis.
Other symptoms vary from person to person and may include:
- Pain in the swollen lymph nodes after drinking alcohol.
- Heavy night sweats, with or without a fever.
- Fever or chills at night or during the day.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Fatigue or lack of energy.
- Dry, itchy skin.
- A widespread, red rash.
- Cough and shortness of breath or chest discomfort caused by a large lymph node mass in the chest.
- An enlarged liver or spleen.
These symptoms do not always mean you have Hodgkin lymphoma. However it is important to discuss any signs with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems. In rare cases, Hodgkin lymphoma can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Visit our genetic testing page to learn more.