Re: Enlarged lymph nodes question
I second your doctor's statement concerning your "old" node. If you had it for so many years without any significant change, it is probably no reason for concern.
As for your other node you recently discovered, I'm not sure exactly how big a marble is. Can you measure it in centimeters?
Regarding your other questions: Yes, it is fairly common to have enlarged nodes. Virtually anyone gets them at some point of their lives. The vast majority of the enlarged nodes people experience are reactive, e.g. commonly caused by a bacterial or viral or infections. Some may be also caused by allergies or other non-serious diseases. A small minority are caused by numerous types of cancer.
As you were told, in some people, some of their reactive nodes do not withdraw to their original size. In your case particularly, respectively to the area as an hypothesis, a persistent scalp/sinus/tooth infection may be a reason. Also, since lymph nodes are sensitive organs, some say over touching or "squeezing" on them as many people do may cause them to stay enlarged. I don't know if this theory is true or not. There are probably other possible reasons why the nodes don't reduce in size, some are unknown. It's likely to vary individually.
Could it be cancer? Very unlikely considering your age. However your post lacks of essential details so it is difficult to give you any better indications of what may be the cause, especially through the internet. Just for your general knowledge, lymphoma symptoms include abnormal and increasingly large, firm, fixed node(s), fever, night sweats, weight loss, and sometimes generalized itching. None the less some patients do not experience any symptoms other than the first mentioned (which is not always visible).
And yes. Biopsy is the only accurate diagnostic procedure which can safely tell you what caused these nodes to enlarge. Biopsy is usually warranted if the associated nodes do not decrease in size over a course of several months or especially if they continuously grow in size.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by ysco; 06-27-2004 at 10:26 AM.