Follicular lymphoma, or FL, is a cancer of the immune system.
FL occurs in lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. These cells are an important part of your immune system and help defend your body from infection. When you have FL, too many white blood cells that are affected by the disease build up in your lymph nodes, blood, and bone marrow. They may also build up in your spleen (an organ in your immune system) and cause swelling of this organ.
Everyone experiences follicular lymphoma (FL) differently. Symptoms may not show up until lymphoma is advanced. It is important to pay attention to how your FL may be affecting you. Tell your doctor if you notice any symptoms or changes in your health.
Patients with FL often will notice an area of painless swelling on the body, such as on the neck, underarm, or groin. As a slow-growing type of lymphoma, FL does not always require immediate treatment.
Possible symptoms you should watch for include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Fever, fatigue, and night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Severe or frequent infections
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Numbness or tingling in feet and/or hands
- Headaches and/or blurry vision
While you are being treated and after your treatment concludes, your doctor will continue to monitor your FL.
- Swelling in your lymph nodes, liver, or spleen
- An increase in the number of abnormal white blood cells
- A decrease in the number of normal blood cells
Symptoms of FL may be seen in other conditions as well. Only your doctor will be able to tell if your symptoms are related to FL.