Cancerous lymph nodes mean that a person has developed either a primary form of cancer within the lymph, more commonly known as lymphoma, or a secondary form of cancer, which would be metastatic cancer, where the cancer has spread into one or more of the lymph nodes. No matter how the cancer of the lymph nodes came about, there are a few very distinct symptoms that can help indicate whether one is suffering from this particular condition.
For most people, the first symptom of a cancerous lymph node is some level of inflammation or swelling of a lymph node. This can be felt (and sometimes seen with the naked eye) within lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. A swollen lymph node is fairly firm and raised, but offers no real pain or tenderness to the touch. Basically, it seems just like a swollen gland.
As with many forms of cancer, cancer of the lymph nodes usually brings with it a certain amount of fatigue and exhaustion. This is partly due to what the cancer is actually doing to the body. Cancerous cells essentially use more calories than an average, healthy cell, leading to undernourishment and eventually a heightened fatigue or exhaustion. Also, the body naturally tries to fight these cancerous cells, which inevitably takes a toll on the system and wears a person out.
Going hand-in-hand with fatigue is usually the symptom of weight loss. At first, one may not notice much change in his weight, but, as the cancer progresses, he may begin to notice what would best be described as an unexplained loss in weight.
Another fairly common symptom of cancerous lymph nodes involves a pain or discomfort within the abdominal region. For some, this pain is fairly mild, even dull. For others, this pain may be relatively strong or sharp. It really depends on how a person's body reacts to the cancer itself.
This particular symptom really sets this form of cancer apart from most other cancers. When someone is suffering from cancerous lymph nodes, she may begin to notice that her skin is, in fact, itchier than normal. It may be a patch of skin, an entire appendage or the body as a whole.
Some people also suffer from night sweats when living with cancerous lymph nodes. A person begins to experience a heightened level of sweating that may wake him up during times of rest. Through the course of the disease, he may experience periodic episodes of night sweats and then go through a period of cessation.