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Symptoms and diagnosis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

We're here for you if you want to talk

0808 2080 888

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Common symptoms of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

DLBCL can cause a range of symptoms, but not everyone will get all or even any of these symptoms. Each person is different and will have a different experience.

The main symptom of DLBCL is having swollen glands (lymph nodes). These won’t necessarily be painful.

The most common place for you to notice these would be in your neck, armpit or groin (at the top of your leg on the inside, where it meets your body). In these areas the lymph nodes lie just under the skin, so you’re more likely to notice if they’re swollen.

Sometimes, the affected lymph nodes can be deeper in your body. You may not be able to see the swelling, but you might have other symptoms caused by this. The symptoms you get will depend on where the swollen lymph nodes are, and which organs they’re pressing against.

These symptoms might include:

  • pain in the chest or stomach area (abdomen)
  • bone pain
  • skin lumps
  • coughing or breathlessness.

B symptoms

You might also have some of the following symptoms, known as B symptoms. Doctors will take these symptoms into account when they plan your treatment:

  • fever (higher than 38ºC)
  • drenching night sweats that soak your nightclothes and bedding
  • unexplained weight loss in the last six months (at least 10% – one tenth – of your previous weight)

Other symptoms

You may also experience other symptoms, which won’t be used to guide treatment decisions. These include fatigue (an extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep) and itching, which can be widespread or in one place.

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