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Old 04-22-2010, 07:41 AM   #1
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Should I seek a 2nd opinion? Dr wonít do a biopsy on axillary lymph nodes YET.

Here is some background:

October 2009 I had some pain in the left armpit, it was bad enough that I went to a Dr about it (I could not feel any enlarged nodes, just a stabbing/uncomfortable feeling). They pretty much dismissed it as hormonal. The pain went away for the most part (I could feel it on and off, but not as bad as it was in Oct). So, then around New Yearís it started up again and it was worse. I had an ultrasound in Jan 2010 and there was a lymph node noted at 1.5cm (with fatty center). When they called me with the results they didnít even tell me about the lymph node, they just said it came back normal. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. I went to an endocrinologist because someone mentioned my issues may be related to my thyroid. She was able to pull up all my past tests and she told me about the lymph node that was found on the Jan ultrasound. So, she ran a bunch of blood tests (all came back normal, except I am a little hypothyroid), she ran a CT scan of my chest and upper abdomen without contrast, and another ultrasound of the left axilla to see if the node grew.

So, I get the results back and the ultrasound is now showing 2 lymph nodes (1.8cm and 2.1cm) both with fatty centers and the CT scan showed fatty lymph nodes noticed bilaterally in the axilla region. At this point the endo refers me to an oncologist since she ran blood tests for mono and Lyme disease.

I went to the oncologist last Wed. and she showed me the scans- she said the lymph nodes look OK, but the size is getting concerning. She wants to wait 2 more months to do another ultrasound before doing a biopsy. She said the lymph nodes under the arm are hard to biopsy, especially since they seem deep in (I donít have a palpable lump).

I told her about the pain and she said that is a good thing, usually lymphoma doesnít normally cause pain. So, I am very confused.

The other weird thing that has been brushed off is rib pain and I have this hard mass on my rib- the endo felt it and that is why she ordered the CT scan. Nothing came up on that or a chest XRAY I had a few months back. They tell me it is costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage around the ribs). It is very painful and it hurts in the upper abdomen also.

What do you think? Should I go to another oncologist or wait the 2 months? There is no relief in sight, I have the armpit pain and the rib pain most days. Some days are better than others. I have no other symptoms at all.

Oh, one more thing I should mention- the oncologist ordered a mammogram which I had done last week. That came back normal and the radiologist said she didn't see the lymph nodes on it. She told me not to worry until they reach 3cm????

Thanks so much for reading,
Sara

 
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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Re: Should I seek a 2nd opinion? Dr wonít do a biopsy on axillary lymph nodes YET.

There is never any harm is seeking a second opinion. It seems like your oncologist is most likely waiting to see if there is any change. The fact that it hurts is a good sign because as she said most of the times they are painless. Do what you feel, and hope all works out.

 
Old 06-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Should I seek a 2nd opinion? Dr wonít do a biopsy on axillary lymph nodes YET.

Thanks for your feedback! I should update- I did go for the 2nd opinion and he pretty much said the same thing as the first Dr. He tested my blood- that was the first thing he did went I went to the office. It is weird, they say you cannot find cancer from blood work, but he told me that my blood work was completely fine (just a little anemic) and my scans were OK in his opinion. I guess he was just looking for something that may have led to more testing?

The pain recently got so bad that I did have the follow up ultrasound 2 weeks ago and the lymph nodes were totally back to normal size- in fact they couldn't even find any on the ultrasound except 1 that measured 7mm.

So, at this point we are not sure why I am having the pain. The oncologist thinks it might be hormonal/changes in my breast tissue that might be pressing into my underarm area.

I still have the rib/side pain, they tell me they think it is from running and I should stop running for 6 months. Costochondritis I guess.

 
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