Lymphoma Signs and Symptoms

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The most common symptom of lymphoma is a lump. Not all lymphomas produce an obvious lump, but a lump in the neck, armpit or groin can be the sign of a problem. Lymph nodes help to fight infection. Around half of people with lymphoma have swollen lymph nodes, though this can also occur with less serious diseases.

A persistent, unexplained lump, anywhere in your body should always be investigated.

Night Sweats

Sweats that are severe enough to “drench” clothes or bed clothes and regularly wake you up. Although called night sweats, these can also happen during the day. Night sweats can happen with any type of Lymphoma. Night sweats can also be caused by other conditions, such as a viral infection and the menopause.

Extreme Tiredness

Feeling exhausted after doing very little can be an indication of an underlying problem. Fatigue is something that isn't relieved by sleep or rest. People describe it as feeling drained of energy, or being so tired you can’t do your normal activities. Sometimes even simple daily tasks, such as getting dressed, can feel too much.


Unexplained itching, without any signs of a rash on the skin. It can affect:

  • > the areas of skin near the lymph nodes affected by lymphoma
  • > the lower legs
  • > the whole body

Itching affects around 1 in 3 people with Hodgkin lymphoma and 1 in 10 people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Unexplained Weight Loss

If you lose weight suddenly, without dieting, or changing your eating or exercise habits. The NHS advises you to see your GP if you lose more than 5% of your normal body weight in a month, or more than 10% over 6 months.


Fever can be a later stage symptom. It may not be a very high fever and could come and go.

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