Many patients do not have symptoms when they are first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The disease is often discovered as the result of a physical examination by the doctor or an investigation for some other condition, such as a blood test or a chest X-ray.
However, when symptoms do develop, they can include unexplained fevers, night sweats, unintended weight loss, severe and persistent fatigue or tiredness and decreased appetite. The first three of these symptoms - fevers, night sweats and weight loss - are often used in the staging of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and are called the 'B' symptoms. (See Symptoms and diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma).
Patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can also experience symptoms as a result of their treatment, most often as a consequence of radiotherapy or chemotherapy. These symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, hair loss, nausea and vomiting, sore throat and mouth, tingling in the hands and feet and infections.
The symptoms of the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma itself are often alleviated by treating the disease, and many of those caused by its treatment stop once the therapies have ended. However, and while the symptoms a patient develops vary enormously, there are medications and simple tips that patients can follow to reduce the effects of the symptoms and live a more normal life.