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Old 08-02-2005, 02:11 PM   #1
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neats20 HB User
How accurate are needle biopsies?

Hi,

I've had a swollen, painless lymph node (about 2 cm diameter) in the side of my neck (under my left ear) for about four months. It appeared when I had a bad cold, at which time both lymph nodes were swollen. One went down, but the other one didn't. It hasn't grown at all since it initially popped up. I've been to an ENT at least 4 times, and have been fully examined and have gone through two rounds of antibiotics. The doctor thought it was a reactive node (as I've had no symptoms of malaise at all) but decided to do two needle biopsies anyway. Both came out completely normal and the node was diagnosed as reactive. However, at this point he told me to have surgery and have it taken out! Should I really consider going under the knife when there's no other indication that anything's wrong or should I get a second opinion? I've read in many places elsewhere on these boards that sometimes lymph nodes just scar and stay swollen permanently.

I appreciate your help!

 
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Old 08-03-2005, 12:42 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Merimac HB UserMerimac HB User
Re: How accurate are needle biopsies?

The fine needle biopsy is great when the suspicion of lymphoma is high. But, if there are no other symptoms and the needle biopsy is negative as well, the diagnosis remains in question. I am sure the doctor is trying to afford you the most accurate possible diagnosis. It is true that a lymph node can be reactive and remain enlarged. However, a changing lymph node may be of more concern. Good luck with however you decide.

 
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