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"Is Lymphoma likely to cause night sweats?"


I was diagnosed with lymphoma. I am 38 and experiencing nightly night sweats. Is this because of the lymphoma?


I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Lymphoma is a cancer in which the immune system cells (lymphocytes) have a genetic mutation causing them to multiply abnormally. These abnormal cells form aggregations in the lymph nodes, which are sites along the body where normal lymphocytes typically reside.

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There are many variants of lymphoma, which differ based on the specific type of lymphocyte and the genetic material (DNA) in the cancerous cells. A hematologist/oncologist is the type of doctor that specializes in lymphoma, and can tell you more about the symptoms and treatment of lymphoma. Lymphoma, like other cancers, tends to cause "constitutional symptoms," also called "B symptoms," meaning symptoms that affect the entire body. These symptoms occur in up to 40% of patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. They include fevers, chills, and night sweats. The reason for these symptoms is small chemicals called "cytokines," which the cancerous lymphocytes produce, or which may be produced by normal immune system cells that are trying to fight off the cancerous ones. These cytokines are inflammatory and cause the generalized symptoms, including night sweats. Other conditions can also cause night sweats, such as infections, thyroid disease, and certain medications including some antidepressants. You should speak with your oncologist or your primary care doctor regarding these other conditions.

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