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Signs You Have Blood Cancer Like Louie Anderson

The late comedian suffered from diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Louie Anderson, the beloved star of Baskets and Search Party, not to mention Life with Louie and Family Feud, died today at age 68, from blood cancer, according to reports. He was "in a Las Vegas hospital being treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, a form of cancer," his rep Glenn Schwartz, told Rolling Stone in a statement. "More than 18,000 people are diagnosed with DLBCL each year. Despite being an aggressive lymphoma, DLBCL is considered potentially curable," according to the Lymphoma Research Foundation. What are the signs and symptoms? Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Where DLBCL Can Appear

Swollen Lymph Nodes
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"DLBCL can develop in the lymph nodes or in 'extranodal sites' (areas outside the lymph nodes) such as the gastrointestinal tract, testes, thyroid, skin, breast, bone, brain, or essentially any organ of the body. It may be localized (in one spot) or generalized (spread throughout the body)," says the Lymphoma Research Foundation. As for how it feels, so you know how to spot it, keep reading.

2

You May Have Swollen Glands (Lymph Nodes)

Mature woman in casual clothes is having a stomach ache while lying on couch at home.
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"The main symptom of DLBCL is having swollen glands (lymph nodes). These won't necessarily be painful," says Blood Cancer UK. "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."

3

You Might Have a Fever

woman covered with plaid checking her body temperature while sitting in bed at her apartment
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Doctors consider your "B symptoms" when it comes to DLBCL. A Fever may be one of them. If you have temperature over 100.4 degrees F, that's considered a fever.

4

Drenching Night Sweats

Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket
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If you wake up with soaked night clothes and bedding, this is cause for concern. "Most patients say that either their nightclothes or the sheets on the bed are actually soaked. Sometimes, heavy sweating occurs during the day," says Cancer.net.

5

Unexplained Weight Loss

stepping on scale
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You may suffer from "unexplained weight loss in the last six months (at least 10% – one tenth – of your previous weight)," says Blood Cancer UK. "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." 

6

What to Do If You Experience These Symptoms

nurse disinfecting male arm before blood
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If you experience these symptoms, contact a medical professional. "You may any or all of these tests," says Blood Cancer UK:

  • "Lymph node biopsy: This involves taking a small sample of a swollen lymph node to confirm the diagnosis of lymphoma.
  • Full blood count: This is a blood test that checks if you have developed anaemia (a low level of red blood cells that can lead to tiredness and breathlessness).
  • Liver function test: This is a blood test that checks how well your liver is working.
  • Urea and electrolytes test: This is a blood test that checks how well your kidneys are working." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more