Unfortunately, there are no symptoms, other than lumps. Sometimes there is pain, as in my case, but the majority isn't painful. That is why it can go undiagnosed and be too far advanced. Your best defense is to have it checked early. Good for you for taking charge of your health and being so vigilant in checking yourself. I am so sorry you lost your friend at such an early age. It is just so sad there isn't a cure yet.
L & H,