Hodgkin’s lymphoma symptoms: Signs of the cancer you should know

Hodgkin lymphoma can develop at any age, but it mostly affects young adults in their early 20s and older adults over the age of 70. Slightly more men than women are affected.

NHS Choices said: “Around 1,900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg has spoken on ITV’s Lorraine about his son’s battle with cancer Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Nick and his wife Miriam’s son Antonio was diagnosed with the disease in September last year and after months of chemotherapy and cancer treatment is now in remission.

They said the first sign of his cancer was discovering a lump on his neck - and he didn’t have any other symptoms.

What are the symptoms of Hodgkin's lymphoma?

The most common symptom of the disease is a painless swelling in a lymph node.

This usually occurs in the neck, armpit or groin. Lymph nodes are lumps of tissue in the body which contain white blood cells to help fight infection.

Swollen lymph nodes are not usually a sign of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Cancer Research UK said around one in four people experience general symptoms including:

Night sweats - heavy sweating, particularly at night
Unintentional weight loss
A high temperature
A persistent cough or feeling of breathlessness
Itching of the skin all over the body which can be worse after drinking alcohol

Sweating at night could also be a sign of blood cancer.

NHS Choices said other symptoms of the disease usually depend on where in the body the enlarged lymph glands are.

Cancer Research said swollen lymph nodes can press on nerves which can be painful and cause swelling arms or legs by blocking the flow of lymphatic fluid around the body.

It can also cause yellowing of the skin and eyes - jaundice - by blocking the flow of bile from the liver.

Some people with Hodgkin lymphoma can be affected by persistent tiredness or fatigue, an increased risk of infection or even excessive bleeding. These symptoms can be caused if Hodgkin lymphoma occurs in the bone marrow.

Nick Clegg and Miriam said they took their son to the GP who immediate spotted that Antonio’s lump could be a sign of something more serious.

Nick said: “The advances in science have been remarkable of course but it’s still a very brutal thing - you’re basically poisoning the body with very powerful chemicals and drugs to kill the cancerous cells and that has huge side effects; hair loss and vomiting and nausea.

“At one point his body was neutropenic which means his body had no defences against infection, so you very quickly move from the shock into just trying to support your child as they’re battling through this very heavy treatment.

“His lymphoma was all over his chest and his neck and he gets tested every three months I think for a couple of years, so there is always a slight spike of anxiety with us every three months but basically he is on the road to recovery.”


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