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Old 12-05-2005, 03:53 PM   #1
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What's the deal with palpable lymph nodes?

Hey. I'm 15, in case that matters. So yeah, I have a few questions, please look over them, and let me know if you have ever seen anything like it. Thanks you in advance!

1. Many of my nodes are palpable. I don't know for how long, since I've only been "looking" for them for a month. Before that, I never cared and didn't even know what they were. Well, most of these palpable nodes are less than 0.5 cm, and only one is about 1 cm. Basically, it seems that these lymph nodes seem to be palpable, but definetely not enlarged. That seems odd though, since most online resources have told me that lymph nodes which are palpable are automatically labled as enlarged. Most also say that a perfectly healthy person should not have palpable nodes. Is it possible for a lymph node to be felt, even when it is not enlarged; and the person is perfectly healthy?

2. The largest one, about a centimeter, is this one on my neck. It is the only one I have noticed before these past months. I've had it for probably years upon years. What I didn't notice before digging around in my skin, was that it seems to have 2 smaller other lymph nodes on the side, that are pushing against it; that concerns me slightly. According to my mom, an RN, I used to have a lot of infections and illnesses, such as colds, fevers, asthma, sore throat, etc. She says that severe or often infections during childhood may cause scar tissue to form or overstretch a lymph node; thus it may never completely diminish. Once again, I have not read anything like this from online medical websites. However, I know many healthy people with palpable or 'big' lymph nodes, that have had them for years. Any thoughts on this?

3. What is the size of the average lymph node in the average person? From what I've read, anything under 1 cm is normal. However, these sites once again say that being able to feel them is abnormal. Which confuses me. My lymph nodes are pretty much all under the size of 1 cm, but many (in front of right ear, both sides of neck, one above my collarbone, some on groin) can be felt. Thoughts?

Finally, I have not yet gone to my 'official' doctor, the primary care physician. However, three medical people have checked these nodes out. My mom (RN), her friend (neurologist), and another friend (oncologist). They all tell me everything's fine. I should have asked them some questions, but these didn't come to me during the time, so yeah.

Any help ya'll can give will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!

Last edited by SupraMan; 12-05-2005 at 06:21 PM.

 
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: What's the deal with palpable lymph nodes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraMan
Hey. I'm 15, in case that matters. So yeah, I have a few questions, please look over them, and let me know if you have ever seen anything like it. Thanks you in advance!

1. Many of my nodes are palpable. I don't know for how long, since I've only been "looking" for them for a month. Before that, I never cared and didn't even know what they were. Well, most of these palpable nodes are less than 0.5 cm, and only one is about 1 cm. Basically, it seems that these lymph nodes seem to be palpable, but definetely not enlarged. That seems odd though, since most online resources have told me that lymph nodes which are palpable are automatically labled as enlarged. Most also say that a perfectly healthy person should not have palpable nodes. Is it possible for a lymph node to be felt, even when it is not enlarged; and the person is perfectly healthy?

2. The largest one, about a centimeter, is this one on my neck. It is the only one I have noticed before these past months. I've had it for probably years upon years. What I didn't notice before digging around in my skin, was that it seems to have 2 smaller other lymph nodes on the side, that are pushing against it; that concerns me slightly. According to my mom, an RN, I used to have a lot of infections and illnesses, such as colds, fevers, asthma, sore throat, etc. She says that severe or often infections during childhood may cause scar tissue to form or overstretch a lymph node; thus it may never completely diminish. Once again, I have not read anything like this from online medical websites. However, I know many healthy people with palpable or 'big' lymph nodes, that have had them for years. Any thoughts on this?

3. What is the size of the average lymph node in the average person? From what I've read, anything under 1 cm is normal. However, these sites once again say that being able to feel them is abnormal. Which confuses me. My lymph nodes are pretty much all under the size of 1 cm, but many (in front of right ear, both sides of neck, one above my collarbone, some on groin) can be felt. Thoughts?

Finally, I have not yet gone to my 'official' doctor, the primary care physician. However, three medical people have checked these nodes out. My mom (RN), her friend (neurologist), and another friend (oncologist). They all tell me everything's fine. I should have asked them some questions, but these didn't come to me during the time, so yeah.

Any help ya'll can give will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!
It sounds like you have gotten advice from people who have seen you in person and have medical knowledge as well. Hormones fluctuating can also cause some lymph nodes to be reactive. By reactive, that means that they are swallowing up infections before they start which is what they are supposed to do. Just make sure you wash your hands before touching your face. Also remember that merely mashing or squeezing can make lymph nodes react and swell for a short time. Unless you have been exposed to very sick people who are contagious, lymph nodes usually just respond to passing viruses which are always around us. A good immune system protects us from most of the viruses.

 
Old 12-17-2005, 05:34 AM   #3
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Re: What's the deal with palpable lymph nodes?

a hemotolgist oncologist once told me that the lymh nodes on thin people can be felt easier and stand out alot more than on a person with more weight.

are you fairly lean in nature?

I would definetly trust the answer from the oncologist because they are the real detectives of carcinomas. they've had to study just for that.
I'd take his word not to worry. I'm sure he wouldn't risk getting sued by you later up the road if felt you didn't need further follow up or an mri or a ctscan.
biopsy is the only way to detect cancer in lymph nodes though.
a full exsicional if possible.
they couldnt' get all of my brother lymph node in his neck. it was too large and on a dangerous spot. so they removed part of it and then used radiation therapy to kill the bad cells in the rest of it.

I see you've done some research on your own at other resources that offered. that's good. but you can become too involved and worry too much about them.
if you palpate them alot, they'll puff up. they seem larger. so the dr ordered me not to touch it as much.
I too had trouble with a potential lymphoma yrs after my brother's episode.
some grow very large and quickly, where some grow very slow and don't need any type of treatment till they start causing symtoms. it's a watch and wait thing.
my lymph node was 6 x 4 cm large and wound up being " atypical, follicular lymphoid hyperplasia". the surgeon was so sure it was a lymhoma and to make sure it wasn't had the biopsy tested by two labs, not just one.
that's also a wise thing to do when one gets a biopsy.
always have it tested by two independent labs to make absolutely sure.
people are only human and make mistakes.
lymphomas are a very difficult thing to diagnose sometimes. they can resemble other non threatening illnesses and really be the real thing or vice a versa. It's really the pathologists who we should be putting are hope and trust in rather than our doctors.
noone really acknowledges the pathologist who sits behind the curtain so to speak.
if it wasn't for the research being done as extensivly as it has been, and we've come a very long way by the way and quickly too, thanks to our teams of researchers being scientists and doctors, making up that group, not to forget the technicians as well, I commend them all.

don't keep touching the nodes. leave them alone for a long while and then see if it's grown. are you getting any intense night sweats? do you have any intense itching anywhere on your body? with some people, they never get any symtoms at all and are shocked to see they even have a lymphoma.
that's the scarey thing about this disease.
certain types strike different ages in people as well.
oh how I love doing this research. call me crazy if you will, but I find the medical world and field so very intresting. it can keep me busy for hours doing the research on it.

good luck.

linda

 
Old 12-21-2005, 05:29 PM   #4
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SupraMan HB User
Re: What's the deal with palpable lymph nodes?

Thanks for the replies. I think I'm alright, I just find it odd and all with these 'bumps' under the skin. A week or so ago, I went on a massive bit of "touching" around my neck, and the day after, a bunch more palpable nodes came up! So yeah, I'm trying to ignore them and stop messing with them.

And finally, while you seem to like doing all this research, it is quite the opposite for me. Haha, it seems so stressful, especially since everyone's body is different, and there are so many variables.

Well, once again, thanks!

 
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