My three and a half year old son has had some swollen lymph nodes since april when he caught strep throat. He has 2 that I can feel on the left side of his neck one on the right and on that has recently popped up on the back of his neck. He has had about 4-5 positive strep test and in May his ped done a cbc and a sed rate which all came back normal the only thing that was wrong was is iron which we have been dealing with since jan of this year. He had another cbc done Sept.22 and all the levels on that also came back normal I believe his WBC was 10.8. I have seen multiple doctors for this and an Ent. my worry or question is could this be cancer even though is blood work is normal? All the doctors I have seen say the same thing that they don't feel worrisome the Ent we seen in July said that he is not concerned at all they don't feel abnormal to him I know that I might just be driving myself crazy I made the mistake of reading on line and I don't know if I am letting this consume me a little too much. I don't want to think that everything is fine but there be more going on. I know that his doc told me that this last cbc looked better than the one in May than his WBC was 13.4 I believe so I guess my question is can you have more than one cbc done and them both come out normal but still have some form of cancer. I really have made myself so sick that I am losing sleep over this and I wish that I knew what was making his lymph nodes stay enalrged they have went down a bit they were bigger when he caught the strep in April I just feel like I am losing my mind over this has anyone else had any similer things happen like this?
It is common for lymph nodes in the neck to enlarge with strept throat and repeated infections will keep the nodes enlarged as they go down slower than the infection itself resolves. A node over 1 cm is considered enlarged, so a lot depends on how big they are, how they feel, and how your child seems when he does not have strept throat. If he is pale, eating poorly, febrile or seems tired when there is no infection, I would be concerned. If he seems normal otherwise, less concerned. His WBC will go up during the infections, so it is important to eval his labs with the timing of his infections. His CBC should be normal when he is well, elevated when he sick. Nodes in the back of the neck are less common in strept, but do occur in mono, which can affect 3 year olds. I would ask the doctors to check his liver and spleen on exam if they haven't done so, and other places lymph nodes exist, just for your reassurance. If he keeps getting strept at this rate, he may end up at some point needing his tonsils out, which will usually clear up the strept episodes and the nodes will go down when there is no longer infection in his throat.
Thank you yes I ask his doc everytime we are in to check his spleen and that has been fine he said not swollen and when we seen the ent he said that they rate tonsils on a scale from 1-4 4 being that they have to come out and my sons are a 3.5 so I am wondering if I get his tonsils out and his adenoids if that will make a diff in his lymph nodes going down. Is it likely that he could have some form of cancer and it not show in his blood I mean there is really no other symptoms as far as I can tell my son is on the go all the time one doc told me you have nothing to worry about your son is a fire cracker lol. I think that I have just invested so much into what i have read online. I mean i tell myself he has seen a specialist and like 5 other doctors and they all say that the biggest lymphnode dont feel alarming. I was told that a doc can tell just based off the feel of the node if there is something to be concerned about? Do you know if this is true they are moveable and there are some days that I have to really feel to find them. I make sure to check other places for nodes like groin and chest but I feel nothing
It truly sounds like your little boy's nodes are not big enough to be concerned about cancer. His lymph nodes will go down when the infections stop or tonsils come out, The fact that he seems fine between infections, etc, sounds like just strept related. Yes, you can have cancer without it showing on CBC, BUT, that is only one part of it, and your son has no symptoms to worry about cancer. I would just caution you not to get his tonsils out just because of the nodes if all his Drs are saying nodes are ok. Only do that if he keeps getting strept and Drs recommend it.