So, i have been quite sick for a while and after seeing many specialists, i remain undiagnosed, although all the docs know something is wrong because all my inflammatory markers are high - crp 5.4, sed rate ranges from 30-75, etc. Anyway, i was just sent to an oncologist to see if perhaps she coukd have some answers. she asked me if i have any lumos, and i pointed to the outside back of my lower jaw... just abive the jawline in front of my ears. after she did an assessment, she decided to send me for an ultrasound saying, "well, that shouldnt be there"... today was my ultrasound. i guided the tech to where i have the bump and she took images in the area and behind the area under my ear. after the images were taken, i was on my way out when the tech came out of the office and told me that they needed me to come back in. they wanted the radiologist to come immediately to look at the films. the radiologist came and took more images. three people were in the room talking while i was there. they found two masses on my left side, none on my right side. the radiologist told me that they look benign. he said they were lymph nodes. he said that he would send his remarks to my oncologist tomorrow. the tech said that he was going to write that there are two lymph nodes that look superficial or something like that.
so, here are my questions:
can an ultrasound really tell if a mass is benign or not?
should i get a second opinion?
anyone have an experience like this and what happemed?
anyone told that a mass looks benign, when in fact it was malignent?
An experienced radiologist can have a reasonable idea if nodes look malignant or benign, but only biopsy is 100 % accurate. The size of nodes is a factor, whether they come and go away or persist and enlarge, how they feel, firm and matted together more likely cancerous than individual and freely movable (more likely benign). I would first get a copy of your ultrasound report and look it over for size of nodes and general comments. I would ask your Dr to check you for lupus (a blood test) and other related autoimmune disorders, which can cause enlarged lymph nodes. See a rheumatologist for this if still not certain, and if a node is bigger than 3 cm, it should be biopsied in my opinion.
The Following User Says Thank You to ladybud For This Useful Post: TheUndiagnosed (02-01-2013)
thank you. i have already been through the whole battery of autoimmune tests and i am negative for lupus. the one tumor i can feel is firm, matted, has persisted, and has gotten bigger over the last year, although most of my symptoms for illness did not start until september. i can not feel the second mass, it is near my corodid and must be deeper. i can also tell you that the mass i feel is about 3/4 of an inch long and about 1/3 of an inch wide. it sits just above my jaw line.
It seems you need to follow up with the oncologist after she gets ultrasound report and discuss a biopsy of the node you can feel. Even though it is not large, if all other explanations have been ruled out, it is best to get the entire node out and examined. Needle biopsies are sometimes done but are not as good as an excisional biopsy when it comes to lymph nodes. The fact it feels firm and matted, not freely movable, is cause for concern. A pet scan can also be done to check for other internal and surface nodes that are exhibiting increased activity or are enlarged. The onc Dr would order that.
Re: please answer... two masses in/near parotid gland
I am concerned that my oncologist just wants to "wait and see" about what happens with the masses. One is just over 1 cm and it is just anterior to the Parotid gland. One is about 8mm and is within the parotid glad. When I read online, they say that even if they are lymph nodes, there should not be masses in that area. Does anyone know if a "wait and see" approach is best or if the masses should be biopsied? From what I have read, even if benign, masses in this area should be removed. However, I would like to know other people's experiences with this issue.
I want to ask if anyone knew they had cancer based on blood inflammatory markers.
My sed rate ranged from 32-75 (normal under 20)
My Crp ranges from 3.5-9 (normal under 1)
My fibrinogen is at 592 (normal between 200-400)
My c4 complement is also always elevated
These four tests indicate that I have systematic inflammation. I've seen SO many doctors and none of them can figure out what is going on. I'm starting to think I may have some form of cancer that has been missed. Maybe the new parotid masses are connected to this other cancer... but, I've been through so many tests and none have indicated cancer (MRI of spine and brain, CT of abdomen, etc).
Maybe I'm just becoming nuts by feeling ill for the past 5 months. But some doctor should be able to acutally diagnose me with something that's causing pain, fatigue, sweating, and inflammation --- right??
Since you are rather close to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, perhaps you could go there. They review all your records and assign a team of Drs to your case, and usually have you diagnosed within one week, Mon to Fri. They specialize in figuring out hard to diagnose cases, and I have been there personally and was very pleased with the speed, thoroughness and detective work they do. I think you qualify, and most insurance companies cover expenses there (may be out of network). I would seriously consider it to get to the bottom of this.