Can lymphoma symptoms overlap with flu-like symptoms? doctors respond


Symptoms of lymphoma may include generalised swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, chest, and abdomen as well as constitutional symptoms like exhaustion, weight loss, appetite loss, low-grade fever, and perspiration. An unexpected and accidental weight loss could be an indication of a malignancy like lymphoma. Significant weight loss is defined as the patient losing 10% of body weight from the baseline over a period of 3 to 6 months.

As a kind of blood cancer, lymphomas are widely divided into Non-Hodgkins and Hodgkins lymphomas, albeit their causes are unknown and idiopathic. The paediatric haematologist, oncologist, and BMT physician at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Dr. Shweta Bansal, noted in an interview with HT Lifestyle that “sudden weight loss is the significant indicator and can be indicative of serious underlying disorders like malignancies, notably lymphoma. When a person loses more than 10% of their body weight unexpectedly and unintentionally over the course of 4-6 months, it is referred to as sudden weight loss.

The production of cytokines from cancerous cells, she continued, “causes or encourages catabolism, which puts the body into a negative energy state and causes weight loss. Night sweats, fever, appetite loss, itching in the palms, or skin rashes may also accompany lymphoma. These symptoms need to be properly investigated and should not be disregarded.

Dr. Preetam Kumar Jain, Senior Consultant Oncologist and Hematologist at Masina Hospital in Mumbai’s Byculla, clarified that flu-like symptoms are different from lymphoma symptoms, saying, “It has been found that reasons like, genetic abnormalities, following infections, may lead to Lymphoma. However, idiopathic conditions account for the majority of the causes.

“Lymphoma is fully treatable,” she said, “particularly if identified early and treated. The goal of the treatment is to be curative. Treatment like Chemotherapy, Targeted therapy, Precision therapy and stem cell transplant can completely cure the lymphoma. Advanced lymphoma stages and poor prognostic variables may make the usual therapy ineffective. It’s important to recognise and understand the prognosis of aggressive lymphomas like triple hit and double hit.