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common lymphoma symptoms

ajackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2020

Hi all,

My husband has been struggling with a nagging cough since October.  In January night sweats and weight loss has started.  We have been going to our local physicians office for these symptoms and the Dr. has been basically giving him antibiotics and prednison for the symptoms.  Says he thinks he may have developed asthma............... He is on his 4th round of high doses of prednisone and almost finished off the taper.  The night sweats are back with a vengence and cough is starting as well.  He has elevated inflammatory markers on blood tests, blood red and white cell counts came back as normal.

My question.  Has anyone had similar symptoms with a diagnosis of lymphoma?  I have finally convinced him to see a new Dr. but he thinks i am overreacting.  He seems to always have an explanation for his symptoms....

Any information/advice anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.  FYI:  he is 53 and has no allergies 

Thanks!

Angie

PBL
Posts: 222
Joined: Jul 2016

Hi,

With a persistent cough for about six months now, has your husband's GP ordered a chest CT yet, or considered doing so any time soon?

If not and if the GP is unwilling to order a CT, perhaps a referral to a pulmonologist would be an acceptable way out of this situation.

In these times of repiratory virus pandemic, I would try not to multiply clinic and/or hospital visits though... Wy not put in a call to the GP and ask for either a CT or referral?

ShadyGuy's picture
ShadyGuy
Posts: 517
Joined: Jan 2017

I agree with PBL. Ask for either a chest x-ray or CT. How much weight as a percentage has he lost? You never mentioned all the blood work results. Your Dr. needs to order the correct blood tests. I am assuming a CBC was normal but how about renal and liver functions? Ask for that if it has not been done. My markers for inflammation were high due to inflamed pancreas. Are the sweating episodes an everyday occurence? Inflamed pancreas can cause night sweats.

ajackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2020

He has had 2 chest x-rays and both were clear.  CBC blood test were normal as was liver and kidney function.  His night sweats are nightly.  Drenching night sweats.  He either sleeps on a towel or keeps a towel next to the bed and wipes himself down a couple times thru the night. If he wears a t shirt he ends up taking it off because its soaked.  He's lost 20 lbs since January.  Before this last dose of prednisone he had no appetite but he's gained some weight over the last two weeks - because of the large does of prednisone.  

He also has had heartburn for a couple years and has been taking prescription prilosec for years for that.

PBL
Posts: 222
Joined: Jul 2016

If his GP has not seen anything of concern in the signs and symptoms you describe, then it is time to move on to a specialist who will address the main symptom (cough) and connect the dots with the other issues.

A 20lb weight loss in three months may be more or less concerning depending on what percentage of the patient's initial weight that represents. Absolute numbers are not so relevant. 

Night sweats may be due to some form of cancer or other, or to a hormonal imbalance, or to inappropriate sleeping conditions...

Cardiac issues can also nicely combine such symptoms as "heartburn", night sweats, and a persistent cough.

What I am pointing at here is that only a medical professional will be able to rule in or rule out your suspicion that your husband has lymphoma - so, you need to find one that is prepared to carry out all necessary tests to find what is ailing him.

Best of luck to you. Do keep us posted on your progress.

PBL

ajackson
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2020

I am trying to get him in for a second opinion but its proving difficult with the covid-19 pandemic.

I guess im just looking for reassurance that I'm not making something out of nothing.....

Thanks for the comments!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3450
Joined: May 2012

ajackson,

Yes, get him to another doctor post haste.   Night sweats have very few causes, basically just blood cancers and menopause, so we can rule one of those out right away.   Any Internal Med doctor should know this.  Serious night sweats with heavy weight loss is (I must say) a substantial red flag, the very definition of lymphoma 'B Symptoms.'   

Chest X-rays will detect many lung issues, but a CT is what he really needs, at least of the full neck and chest regions.  I am not a killjoy but in my layman's experience, I will say (in an effort to be helpful) that his description sounds quite worrisome.   I have an old adage:  'Don't let an ENT antibiotic you to death.'  Meaning, do not let some hayseed doctor proceed too long with an attitude of 'Awe, it's just infection.'   

max

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