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It is not easy to accept a diagnosis of lymphoma. It doesn't matter if you are the patient diagnosed or you are a close family member or a friend of the person diagnosed, the fact that lymphoma is a serious illness makes it doubly difficult for people to accept. Lymphoma is actually a type of cancer that attacks the lymphocytes or the white blood cells of a person. The lymphocytes or the white blood cells are closely related to the human immune system, which fights off infections in the body. Where the lymphocytes or the white blood cells start to prow abnormally, these cells will no longer be able to perform its normal functions. As the white blood cells' normal functions are impaired, the immune system of the body weakens thereby exposing the person to infections.

The first signs and symptoms of lymphoma are usually related to the swelling of the lymph nodes. Abnormal lymphocytes gather into the lymph nodes of the person causing the lymph nodes to swell. However, having swollen lymph nodes does not necessarily mean that the person has lymphoma. There are many reasons why lymph nodes swell. Swelling of the lymph nodes could be a case of simple infection. However, if you have reason to believe that the swelling of your lymph nodes specially those located in your neck is not just a simply infection or where you notice some swelling but does not feel any pain at all, you better tell your doctor and ask for further test. In fact, if you ever
notice any swelling of your lymph nodes, it is best to see a doctor immediately.

Swollen but non-painful lymph nodes especially around the neck area, could be a sign of a serious condition known as Hodgkin's lymphoma. A lot of people would tend to ignore the swelling since they don't feel any pain or discomfort at all. That is the reason why there are many patients who only see a doctor when their condition is already in the advanced stage. Aside from the lymph nodes on the neck area, the lymph nodes on the chest are also often affected. Where the lymph nodes of the chest are affected, the patient doesn't usually see outward signs of swelling as in those affected lymph nodes of the neck. In most cases, lymphoma on the chest is discovered during chest E-rays that are often not intended to find the cancer cells. Often times, these kinds of discoveries are the most traumatic among patients and their family especially if the X-ray was conducted on a random check up and the patient had always been in good health.

About one-third of those people who are afflicted with Hodgkin's lymphoma notice systemic symptoms such as low-grade fever, weight loss, night sweats fatigue or itchy skin. Although these symptoms are also very common with other types of illness, if symptoms persist after taking medications or if you feel that there is definitely something more to the systemic symptoms than ordinary infections, it is best to seek for further test.

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