Lymphatic system cancer: symptoms, photo
Lymphatic cancer is a malignant tumor that affects the lymph nodes of the whole organism and can lead to serious complications and even death of the patient. Normal cells of the lymph nodes under the influence of various factors start to divide uncontrollably, which leads to proliferation of lymphoid tissue and tumor development. The disease is manifested typical symptoms to be aware in time to take action and prevent the development of severe complications.
The types of malignant tumors of the lymph nodes (lymphoma)
One distinguishes more than 30 histological variants of these tumors. But oncologists identified two major groups according to the presence or absence in the affected nodes to specific cells Berezovsky-Sternberg.
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Hodgkin’s disease) is a type of tumor, histological examination of which define these cells. These tumors account for about 30% of all lymphomas.
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – this group combined the remaining 70% of lymphomas in the study of cells Berezovsky-Sternberg is not defined.
Clinical manifestations of lymphoma
Symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are somewhat different from each other. In the first case, the manifestations of initial stage of the disease are as follows:
- The increase in different groups of lymph nodes to the size of grapes. Most often the disease begins with cervical or supraclavicular groups, rarely with anterior. A distinctive feature is the absence of pain upon palpation of enlarged lymph nodes. When anterior option will be present symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, blue in the face or puffiness of the face.
- The symptoms of General intoxication, associated with tumor growth and death of normal cells of the body, will be expressed in a fever over 38.5 degrees, profuse sweats at night, weight loss more than 10% of the total body mass.
With the progression of the disease to the above symptoms include complaints from other internal organs:
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- Skin symptoms appear as erythematous lesions (red spots) with a diameter of three millimeters. This symptom means that the swelling of the lymph nodes begins to grow deep into the tissues.
- In the lymph nodes of the digestive tract (usually the intestine) joins abdominal pain, nausea and violations of the chair. The mesentery of the intestine is richly supplied with lymph nodes, so these symptoms are largely, and sometimes pain unbearable character.
- With the defeat of intrathoracic lymph nodes symptoms from the broncho-pulmonary system. Occurs most often dry cough without sputum, shortness of breath and pain behind the breastbone, caused by compression of mediastinal lymph nodes. In more severe cases, the tumor grows in the lung tissue, destroying it and forming a cavity. In the background this can cause abscesses (cavities filled with pus) or pleurisy (accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity).
- Tumor lesion of the bones and joints causing sharp pain. Most often affects the vertebrae of the lumbar spine, sternum, ribs and pelvis.
- Symptoms of the immune system appear in the defeat of a tumor of the spleen and bone marrow. Occurs splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) and changes in the blood system: anemia (decrease in number of red blood cells and hemoglobin), thrombocytopenia (reduced platelet count), leukopenia (reduction in the number of leukocytes in the blood). In this regard, symptoms of anemia emerge in the form of pallor of the skin, reduced appetite, weight loss, brittleness of blood vessels, hair breakage, dryness of mucous membranes and other things. Thrombocytopenia manifested by petechiae (pinpoint hemorrhages in the skin) and bleeding. Leukopenia will lead to a General decrease in immunity, that is defenses.
- With the defeat of the nervous system and the membranes of the brain or spinal cord the symptoms are headache, dizziness, occasional violations of motor activity or sensitivity, up to paresis and paralysis.
Cancer of the lymph nodes most often occurs in the form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In children and adolescents found a malignant form of the disease, when the tumor is spreading rapidly throughout the body, affecting all areas where the lymphatic system (liver, thymus, spleen, small intestines, tonsils and bone marrow). If untreated, this form of lymphoma is rapidly fatal. In adults occurs more benign variant of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma when the tumor is slowly growing in the body.
The symptoms of these lymphomas are very similar to the previous species (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), sometimes without histological examination of tissue lymph node diagnosis can be put. But there are some differences:
- Lymph nodes that are affected by tumor, occipital, submandibular, axillary, inguinal, elbow. They grow to huge sizes, but do not hurt on palpation (feeling).
- If affects the lymph nodes and internal organs, they also increase in size, displacing the nearby organs and thus causing the corresponding symptoms.
- Very often there is a trio of symptoms (the so-called «In» symptoms). They appear together for no apparent reason. It’s a fever over 38 degrees, profuse night sweats and sudden weight loss (10% or more within 4 weeks).
- In children the progression of symptoms is observed within 1 to 2 weeks.
The appearance of one or more symptoms of an adult and a child does not mean the presence of lymphoma in a patient. To confirm the diagnosis you need to consult a doctor and pass a comprehensive examination.