Non Hodgkin’s Lymphomas Symptoms: Whether it Can Affecting the Brain?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a collection of vessels and glands scattered throughout the body and serves as part of the immune system. One of them is the lymph nodes. And also must know more details in Non Hodgkin’s Lymphomas Symptoms: Whether it Can Affecting the Brain?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is often characterized by the appearance of lumps in parts of the body that have lymph nodes, such as the armpits or neck. This condition needs to be treated immediately because otherwise cancer can spread to other organs and cause serious complications.

Our Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas different?

Yes, unlike Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma can start from both B and T lymphocyte cells.

Also, non-Hodgkin’s lymph cancer is more likely to spread to other organs in the body. While in Hodgkin’s cancer, the spread is possible, although cases are relatively rare.

The lymph or lymphatic system consists of glands, vessels, and lymph fluid scattered in various parts of the body, ranging from the neck, armpits, thigh folds, to the abdomen.

The main function of the lymphatic system is to produce white blood cells that can maintain immunity. When lymph cancer or lymphoma occurs, the white blood cells of lymphocytes change and multiply excessively.

The risk of developing lymphoma is greater in people with autoimmune diseases and HIV/AIDS, men, and the elderly. Research has also shown that people who have a family with a history of lymphoma have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.

Getting to know Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

As mentioned earlier, lymphoma is divided into two types, namely Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. The development of cancer cells due to cell mutations is the cause of the emergence of both types of lymphoma.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma usually appears as a lump in the neck, thigh folds, or other parts of the body. Hodgkin’s lymphoma sufferers also tend to experience weight loss, weary body, fever without a clear cause, skin rashes, and frequent night sweats.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma also causes symptoms similar to Hodgkin’s. However, this type of lymphoma is usually accompanied by symptoms of pain in the chest, bones, and abdomen.

Differences between Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The main difference between Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas is the type of lymphocyte cells involved. The difference between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can also be known through the following:

Age factor

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually experienced by two age groups, the 20-30 age group and the over-55 age group. Meanwhile, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually experienced by seniors over the age of 60.

Event Number

The incidence rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma is much lower compared to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Only 12% of total lymphoma cases are diagnosed as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Besides, Hodgkin’s lymphoma incidence rate is reported to continue to decline when compared to the number of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma events that have continued to increase in recent years.

Biopsy test results

In the examination of lymph node tissue samples or biopsies, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by the presence of Reed Sternberg cells. However, the presence of these cells will not be found in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is usually caused by abnormal growth of B cells or T cells.

Handling methods

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has more subtypes than Hodgkin’s, so the type of treatment varies more depending on the subtype of lymphoma the sufferer experiences.

Common methods of treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can also be treated with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, target therapy, plasmapheresis, antibiotics, or stem cell transplantation.

What is your life expectancy?

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer with a fairly high success rate of treatment. This type of lymphoma has a considerable life expectancy, which is about 84%. While for patients under the age of 45 years, the percentage of recovery can increase up to 94%.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has a lower life expectancy than Hodgkin’s, which is 72%. However, the success rate of treatment in the case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma also varies greatly depending on the subtype of lymphoma suffered, the stage of cancer, age, and general health of the sufferer.

At first glance, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma do look similar. To ensure the type of lymphoma suffered, the oncologist will perform a biopsy examination by taking tissue samples from the lymph nodes to be examined with a microscope.

Based on the type of cells that turn malignant and cause lymphoma, the doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment steps.

Can non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma affect the brain?

If not treated immediately, non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer may spread to other groups of lymphatic systems. Cancer can also spread to other organs of the body, such as the brain, liver, and bone marrow. This condition is of course very dangerous and can be life-threatening.

Who can develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?

As reported from Lymphoma Action, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer is more common in adults over the age of 55. However, this type of cancer can also occur in children. This type of cancer is also more common in men than women. Please consult your doctor for more information.

What are the types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer has dozens of types. These types of non-Hodgkin’s cancer depend on the type of cell affected, how mature the cell is when it becomes cancerous, and other factors.
Based on the type of cells affected, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is divided into two types, namely B cell lymphoma and T cell lymphoma.

However, there is also a non-Hodgkin type that changes from a slow-growing type to a faster-growing type. This type is also called transformation.
Based on these classifications, the following subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymph cancer are most common in adults:

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLC)

This subtype is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. As the name implies, DLCBL develops from B lymphocyte cells that grow and spread rapidly or aggressively. Abnormal cells in this subtype are dispersed (diffuse) when viewed under a microscope.

Follicular lymphoma

This subtype lymphoma develops from B lymphocyte cells but grows slowly. This subtype is the most common low-level non-Hodgkin’s cancer. Abnormal B cells in this subtype often accumulate in the lymph nodes as follicles (clots).

Burkitt Lymphoma

This subtype lymphoma develops from B lymphocyte cells and usually grows very quickly. There are three main types of Burkitt lymphoma, namely endemic (which commonly appears in Africa and is associated with chronic malaria and Epstein-Barr Virus), sporadic (appearing outside Africa and associated also with Epstein-Barr virus), as well as those associated with immune deficiency (usually developing in people with HIV or undergoing organ transplantation).

What Causes Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma generally occurs due to changes or DNA mutations in one type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are blood cells that serve to fight infections in the body.

Normally, old or old lymphocytes will die, and the body will produce new lymphocytes to replace those lymphocytes. In the case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphocytes continue to divide and develop abnormally (non-stop), resulting in a buildup of lymphocytes inside the lymph nodes.

The condition causes swelling of the lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) and the body becomes susceptible to infection.

It is not yet known exactly the cause of DNA changes in one of these types of white blood cells. However, several factors can increase a person’s risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, namely:

  • 60 years old and above
  • Have a weakened immune system, for example, due to using immunosuppressant drugs
  • Suffer from autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Suffer from certain viral and bacterial infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus infection, HIV, or
  • Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection
  • Have a history of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the family
  • Constant exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides.

Non Hodgkin’s lymphomas symptoms women

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma depend on the type of lymphoma and the location of its occurrence. The following are some of the symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:

  • Commonly painless lumps in the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Weight
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Easily tired
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach aches or enlarges
  • Itchy skin

Other diseases that arise non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas thyroid symptoms

In addition to the various risks of these complications, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment may also increase the risk of other health disorders, such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Kidney disease

When should you see a doctor?

Some symptoms, such as the appearance of a lump or fever, are not symptoms that can ensure that a person has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because, these symptoms can also occur in other conditions, such as infection.

non hodgkin's lymphomas symptoms
Therefore, if you experience any of the above symptoms, check with your doctor to determine the cause, especially if you are at high risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

See a doctor immediately if your symptoms have been going on for a long time or are getting worse. Early examination and treatment will reduce the chances of complications.

Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

To diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the doctor will ask questions about the patient’s symptoms and complaints, the patient’s health condition, and the patient’s family history of the disease.

After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination to check for swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin. The doctor will then also perform a supporting examination to confirm the diagnosis. Such checks may include:

Blood test

Blood tests are conducted to determine the presence of infections or other diseases, as well as increased levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) with a complete blood count because often LDH increases in lymphoma patients.

Also, I have information about blood sugar tests know about What is Dangerously Low Blood Sugar: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment will also explain the tools used.

Lymph node biopsy

The biopsy is performed by taking a sample of swollen lymph node tissue and then analyzed in the laboratory to determine whether the patient has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Biopsy examination will usually be followed by immunosotype or immunohistochemical examination, which is the examination of antibodies attached to the tissue. This examination is useful in determining the treatment of.


Imaging can be done with X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan. This test aims to determine the location and size of cancer, as well as how far the cancer cells have spread.

Bone marrow samples

Blood and tissue samples are taken by the aspiration to see the spread of lymphoma to the bone marrow.

Lumbar puncture

This examination aims to see the spread of lymphoma to the brain by taking samples of spinal fluid.

Here’s the stage level of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

After the doctor finishes the examination and confirms the diagnosis, the doctor will also determine the stage of cancer suffered by the patient. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is divided into 4 stages:

Stadium 1

At this stage, cancer affects only one group of lymph nodes, such as the lymph node group on the thigh or neck fold.

Stadium 2

Parts of the body in the lymphoma stage are separated by the diaphragm. Stage 2 indicates that cancer attacks two or more groups of lymph nodes above or below the diaphragm.

Stadium 3

At this stage, the cancer is already in the lymph node group at the top and bottom of the diaphragm.

Stadium 4

Stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma indicates that cancer has spread out of the lymphatic system and into the bone marrow or other organs, such as the liver or lungs.

How to Treat Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment aims to eliminate cancer and prevent its spread to other organs. The treatment will be adjusted to the stage of cancer, age, and health condition of the patient.

Patients with indolent lymphomas will generally undergo close monitoring without any treatment. The doctor will schedule regular check-ups for several months to monitor and ensure that cancer does not worsen.

If the patient’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is aggressive or the symptoms and complaints are getting worse, the doctor will recommend the following treatment methods:


Chemotherapy is the most commonly used treatment to treat non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The treatment aims to kill cancer cells with drugs.

Chemotherapy is sometimes combined with the administration of corticosteroid drugs to increase their effectiveness. However, the use of corticosteroids is only allowed for the short term.


Radiotherapy is commonly used to treat early-stage non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Radiotherapy is performed using high doses of radiation beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill cancer cells. The light is directed to the part of the lymph nodes that have cancer cells.

Monoclonal antibody therapy

This treatment uses monoclonal antibody drugs, such as rituximab, to improve the immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells. Generally, monoclonal antibody therapy will be combined with chemotherapy.

However, this step is only effective for some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and needs to be adjusted to the results of an immunosuppressive test.

Bone marrow transplantation

Bone marrow transplantation is performed after chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this procedure, the doctor will transplant healthy bone marrow stem cells into the patient’s body, so that the patient’s body can reshape healthy white blood cells.

Complications of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients who have gone through the treatment process or have even been declared cured still have a risk of complications. Some of the complications that can occur are:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Infertility or infertility
  • Another cancer emerges
  • Other health disorders, such as heart disease, thyroid disease, or kidney disease.

How to non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas symptoms treatments?

The cause of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not yet clearly known. Therefore, prevention is also difficult to do. The best step that can be done is to avoid factors that can increase the risk of developing this disease, namely by:

  • Not abusing NAPZA or having sexual intercourse that is at risk of causing HIV/AIDS
  • Use work protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, if working in an environment where there is exposure to chemicals, such as pesticides
  • Consult a doctor regularly if taking immunosuppressant medications to avoid possible side effects
  • Conduct periodic medical check-ups if you have an autoimmune disease to determine the progression of the disease
  • Eating foods that contain balanced nutrition.


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