What are the symptoms of lymphoma?

The most common symptom of lymphoma is chronic swollen lymph nodes. This swelling is painless and typically occurs in the neck, armpits or groin.

Other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Itching

How is lymphoma diagnosed?

Your doctor may suspect lymphoma after assessing your symptoms and performing a physical exam of your lymph nodes. He or she will then order diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of lymphoma.

Diagnostic testing for lymphoma at the Institute may include:

  • Lymph node biopsy - This test examines a sample of lymph node tissue for the presence of cancer cells. Your doctor may obtain a tissue sample through surgery or a core needle biopsy procedure. During a core needle biopsy, the doctor obtains a small amount of lymph node tissue or fluid through a special needle. A local anesthetic is used to numb the site of the procedure.
  • Imaging tests - Computed tomography, positron emission tomography or MRI scans can reveal the location and extent of lymphoma.
  • Blood tests - These tests may be used to determine the stage of cancer.
  • Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy - These tests see if lymphoma has spread to your bone marrow. Your doctor obtains a bone marrow sample with a special needle that is typically inserted into the hip bone. A local anesthetic is used to numb the site of the procedure.
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Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.

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