On Oct. 19, actor Jeff Bridges announced he had been diagnosed with lymphoma, a type of cancer affecting the lymph system. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good,” he tweeted. “I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two major types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma, which spreads in an orderly manner from one group of lymph nodes to another; and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which spreads through the lymphatic system in a non-orderly way.
In his initial announcement, Bridges didn’t specify the type of lymphoma he’s been diagnosed with or what his symptoms were. But the two types of lymphoma have similar signs. The CDC says these are the five most common signs you have lymphoma. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
The lymph system contains matter like white blood cells that help fight infection. During lymphoma, the cells in lymph nodes can go awry. Tumors can develop in those nodes, causing enlargement. According to the Mayo Clinic, persistent painless swelling of lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin may indicate lymphoma.
Leukemia and lymphoma are two cancers associated with night sweating, which can be drenching. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why this occurs, but it might be due to the cancer increasing body temperature or releasing chemicals that cause sweating. If you experience regular night sweats, it’s a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider.
Fever is most often caused by a minor illness. But in rare cases, it can be a sign of lymphoma. If you have a prolonged fever of unknown cause, see your doctor.
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People with cancer often experience fatigue, as the body attempts to fight off the intrusive cells. According to a 2016 study in Lancet Oncology, lymphoma patients have a high incidence of severe and prolonged fatigue. If you feel consistently fatigued—the kind of tiredness that sleep doesn’t resolve—it’s best to get it checked out. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, sometimes fatigue is the only sign of lymphoma.
The CDC says weight loss is a symptom of lymphoma, as it is for several cancers. Experts think cancer-related weight loss is caused by the cancer hijacking the metabolism, burning more calories for its own growth. If you experience unexplained weight loss of 10 percent or more of your body weight in six months, it’s a cue to see your doctor. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.