There are two basic types of Castleman disease:

  • Unicentric Castleman disease. This localized form of the disease affects only a single lymph node.
  • Multicentric Castleman disease. This type affects multiple lymph nodes and lymphatic tissues, and can severely weaken your immune system. It sometimes accompanies HIV/AIDS.

The two different types of Castleman disease affect people very differently.

Unicentric Castleman disease

Many people with unicentric Castleman disease notice no symptoms at all. Most often, the diseased lymph node is located in the chest or abdomen. When there are signs and symptoms, they may include:

  • A feeling of fullness or pressure in the chest or abdomen that can cause difficulty breathing or eating
  • An enlarged lump under the skin in the neck, groin or armpit
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Cough
  • Anemia

Multicentric Castleman disease

People with multicentric Castleman disease usually develop these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Enlarged peripheral lymph nodes, usually around the neck, collarbone, underarm and groin areas
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Nerve damage in the hands and feet that leads to numbness or weakness (peripheral neuropathy)

When to see a doctor

If you notice an enlarged lymph node on the side of your neck or in your underarm, collarbone or groin area, talk to your doctor. Also, call your doctor if you have other signs or symptoms, such as a feeling of fullness in your chest or abdomen, fever, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss. These signs and symptoms are common to many different types of illnesses. See your doctor to determine the cause.

Sep. 03, 2011

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