Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas

There are two main types of lymphoma: non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease. They usually spread first to other lymph nodes or glands in the lymphatic system, but can also enter the bloodstream which carries them to various organs. When the cells reach a new site they may go on dividing and form a new tumour.    

Although the cause of most non-Hodgkin's lymphomas is unknown, research into this is going on all the time. Researchers are investigating whether certain conditions, such as the use of drugs which prevent rejection following an organ transplant, may make people more likely to develop lymphomas.



  • General symptoms:

    • Lump nodes in the neck, armpits, stomach or inner thighs, excessive night sweating, fever, unintended weight loss and tiredness, persistent itchiness all over the body

  • Partial symptoms may occur when tumour progresses to nearby area/organs:

    • A tumour in the chest can cause coughing, difficulty in swallowing and breathing

    • A tumour in the abdomen can cause digestive problems, abdominal pain and loss in weight

    • A tumour blocking the lymph vessels can cause a build-up of lymph fluid in the body and lead to swelling arms and legs

    • A tumour blocking bile duct can cause jaundice (too much bilirubin in the liver), which leads to yellow skin and eyes

  • Decrease in blood cells:

    • A tumour spreading to bone marrow can inhibit the production of blood cells. Lack of red blood cells can cause tiredness. Lack of white blood cells can cause higher risk of infection. Lack of platelet can cause bleeding disorders

  • Other symptoms:

    • A tumour affecting the brain can cause headache, trouble thinking, difficulty in moving joints and seizures

If you do have any of the above symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately. Please remember these symptoms are also common to many health conditions other than lymphoma too.


Reduce your risks

  • Get checked by a doctor if relevant symptoms emerge

For more cancer-related information and support, please visit the Hong Kong Cancer Fund website or contact Hong Kong Cancer Fund free enquiry hotline: (852) 3656 0800


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Source: Hong Kong Cancer Fund


The information on this page is for reference only. It is not intended to constitute a recommendation, and it is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. You should not act on any information on this page without seeking specific professional advice.