About a month ago I felt a lump (about the size of 2 marbles) above my collar bone. I was expecting that i would be coming down with a throat infection or flu or something but nothing happened. I never got any other symptoms so last week i went to my doctors. He felt it & confirmed it was a swollen Lymph node & said he thought it may be glandular fever, (although i have no other symptoms) but there were 'other things' to looks for too. He sent me for a blood test for a range of different tests, i'm waiting for the results.
Having done some internet research & chatting to a couple of doctor friends, i have come to the conclusion that the 'other things' might be Hodgkins. Does anyone have experience of this, know what the blood tests may show if this is the case or know what i should be asking when i go back for the results? I really don't want to overreact, & make something out of nothing. Any advice?
The best way to find out for sure what it is, is to have a biopsy. Sometimes bloodwork will be normal, but you can still have lymphoma. Due to the location of your lump, I would insist that the doctor reffer you to a surgeon to have it removed. Please keep us updated on what you find out!
I concur, insist on having it removed. Enlarged nodes in that area are highly suspicious of malignancy. It's otherwise known as the supraclavicular nodes and they usually remove those without hesitation. Let us know your plan.
Thanks for the advice. I get the results of the blood test on Wednesday. I'm hoping that the doctor will send me for the biopsy although i'm going to have to wait because i live in the UK and am at the mercy of the National Health System!
Do you know what might show up in my blood if i had HD? I would like to know what to ask the doctor when i see him.
I am glad you went to see a doctor! You could have completely normal bloodwork and still have lymphoma. Please insist on a biopsy no matter what your blood results are, especially if you are anemic (low iron)! If your doctor does not insist on a biopsy I would seek a second opinion! You could also go to a surgeon directly! Good luck and keep us posted!
I've just come back from my doctors apt, he has refered me to a ENT consultant. This would take 4 - 6 weeks on the NHS so i've opted for a private apt which i am having on Monday! Costs £120 but def worth it.
My doctor didn't seem to have a clue about what it could be! He didn't seem to look at my blood results other than to say that i don't have glandular fever (called mono in the US i think).
Hopefully i should know more on monday. Thanks again, Rachel.
Just returned from the ENT consultant. Much to my surprise he performed a FNA biopsy there and then. He seems to think that there is only a 20% chance of it being malignant or TB or something serious, so 80% chance of it being a benign growth or reactive node.
I think this is good news, i'm going back in 2 weeks for the results. If he isn't able to give me the all clear he will look into the 20% by removing one of the nodes. So hopefully i'll have good news in time for Xmas!
I've been back to my ENT today for the result of my FNA biopsy. Unfortunatly it was inconclusive! They are now going to remove one of the nodes for a closer look and also do a chest xray, hopefully in early Jan.
Anyone have any ideas on what they might be looking for on a chest x ray or had any experience with inconclusive biopsy results?
I'll start with, "I hope you don't have anything too serious like cancer" going on in there. FNAs often come up inconclusive and my surgeon rarely ever does them anymore. He is the head of the head and neck cancer center out here in LA and he feels excisional biopsy is the best way to determine if a node contains cancer or not. With that said, I can tell you that I had 5 large nodes removed from the right side of my neck almost 3 weeks ago. Still waiting on pathology as they sent it out to get a second opinion. I also have a lung tumor(nodule) in my left lung. I think that is what your doctor is looking for. A tumor in your lung, enlarged spleen, status of your liver etc. If you were to have lymphoma those are the places it typically spreads. If you have any other questions let me know. I'll be happy to answer you. I hope everything works out for you. I have already had cancer, so I'm a veteran. A veteran of a club nobody wants to join of course. lol
Hi I have been reading your thread. I would like to know what size your large node was. I keep reading about various sizes of lymph nodes and have read that anything over 1cm is usually thought to be malignant. So, back to original question what constitutes a large lymph node. This is important to me in that I have one or so that the doctor has ordered a Cat Scan on on 29. I will be having the IV enhanced Cat on my neck.
I'm not sure if you are talking to me or rl_bright, but I will answer the question as to how big my largest node was. It was a little over 2cm and the others were a little smaller. A couple of them were matted together, so I'm going to have to wait until I see the final path report to clarify the size. Nodes located in the neck region, in the vicinity of the supra-clavicular node area are highly suspicious of malignancy 1cm and above. Nodes down in the groin have to be at least 2 1/2 cm before the doctors are concerned about them. Docs order the CT w/ IV contrast for the nodes as they can't tell the difference between arteries/normal blood vessels and lymph nodes without it. I thought that was interesting. Did the doc give you an estimate of the size of the node they are scanning on the 29th? I hope everything turns out well for you.
On a side note, another clue for malignancy is unilateral enlarged nodes as opposed to bilateral enlarged nodes. Mine were all enlarged on the right side of my neck, no enlargement on the left at all. Bilateral swelling is usually a sign that we are fighting off infections, mono, colds etc.
Thank you for the information about the node size. Mine is on right side only. The largest node is in or near the Parotid gland and then there are others that are enlarged, that appear to be lining the carotid artery area, moving into the occiptal area. There is only slight tenderness, but there is also a feeling that something is in the way when I turn my head. As I told the doctor, it is not painful enough for medication, just a sensation of being "there". She said that she thought the nodes might be growing inward and be larger than they appear on the surface. I am thin in the area so she was concerned that there was "feeling of something in the way", She said she wanted to pin point the largest one by the CAT SCAN especially since there were ones lining the carotid artery. She wants to make sure I don't have a blood clot in the Carotid before doing a biopsy. I am old enough to be having some major vascular problems and this may all be vascular spasms rather than lymph node disease per se.