I am a 41 year old female with 1 swollen lymph node and some very mild itching all over my body (especially hand pads, feet pads, and scalp). I have had 5 night sweats in 8 months (back of head, neck, shirt dripping wet but not sheets). I feel great!!!
I felt a lymph node in the submandibular area of my neck (where chin meets neck) in January. Then I sort of lost it; could not find it again. The first week of March, I noticed it again and this time could find it on command. I had an immediate ultrasound. "Normal Appearing Lymph Node 1cm". I floated back and forth between my primary care and ENT doctor who were NOT worried at all; but I certainly was worried! The ENT doctor wanted to wait 3 months to do another ultrasound. But I talked my primary care into doing an ultrasound 30 days after the first one. "1.7cm Lymph Node that shows no specific change to suggest pathologic nodule".
My ENT is going to surgically remove the node and send it off for fresh tissue biopsy on May 2nd. I hate this waiting game! I thought when Lymphoma was a possibility, things were to move faster. : (
I've had only two ultrasounds and a normal CBC. I've been on antibiotics and this thing grew from 1.0 to 1.7 during that time.
My questions are this:
1. What will the test results tell me? Cancer vs Infection, I know. But more than that. Will it tell me if it's Lymphoma or if it's for example breast cancer that has metastasized? Will it tell me what kind of Lymphoma?
2. How should I be preparing for the results? Should I have an oncologist lined up so I can move more quickly if the results are bad?
3. If the lymph node comes back as NOT CANCER, my curiosity will get the better of me. Would I at that point continue to be poked and investigated? We would have ruled out cancer and infection at that point. Does one really need to find out why a single lymph node was swollen or do you just move on and put it behind you?
I'm a 25 year old male and have been going through something very similar since Late July/August 2012. Hope my answers to your questions can help. More like opinions and comparisons to what I went through. Good luck and keep us updated!
1.) I had a full exisional biopsy done on my left sub mandibular lymph node done 10/12/12. Took 2-3 weeks for results to get back. Mine came back negative with no definitive signs of malignancy. They could not diagnose me yay or nay really. If there are cancer cells or strong indicators then yes they could just say you have cancer or they could say it was more agreeable with some sort of reactive disorder due to infection. Doctors notes below. And now 5 months after my surgery they are still "monitoring" to see if anything has changed since they never were able to give me a real diagnosis. Nodes have since decreased in size but are still enlarged and I can feel them.
"The pathology identifies morphologically follicular lymphocytic hyperplasia. Prominent follicular lymphocytic proliferation shows nodular pattern with attenuated mantle zone and inter-follicular zone. The follicular center cells contain heterogeneous lymphocyte population. IHC shows BCL one and BLC-2 negative with BCL 6 positive. Preliminary diagnosis is an atypical T-cell lymphoproliferative disorder. However Dr *** discusses this as most consistent with a reactive lymphocytic hyperplasia. The focal atypical IHC pattern raised the possibility of a follicular colonization. In light of suspicious clinical history, additional flow cytometry studies were recommended to be done on fresh tissue on the indicated. Studies were submitted for B-Cell gene rearrangement by PCR and FISH. The PCR analysis for B-Cell gene clonality shows no clonal B-cell population Dr *** of *** pathology also agrees with this being reactive lymphocytic haperplasia."
2.) If you are expecting bad results I don't see why it couldn't hurt to already have a doc lined up or be at least researching for a good oncologist. My surgeon recommended me to my oncologist after my biopsy even though I didn't have proof of cancer. Was more because he is a specialist in this stuff and has good knowledge on the subject matter. Not for treatment.
3.) I'm pretty much in the same boat as your question here. Not cancer.. Okay then what is it?? I haven't really been poked and investigated that much since my biopsy was done and didn't show malignancy. More of just wait and watch. I have had a few visits to my oncologist since my Biopsy. Only just had a couple CT scans and blood labs to monitor size and my blood counts to make sure the situation hasn't progressed for the worst. its only gotten better .. as of now my nodes has decreased in size and blood labs are still good. My next follow up and hopefully my last visit to my oncologist is next August a full year after I first noticed the lump in my neck. So this can carry on for quite some time. Never got a solid answer of what caused it. But hey cant be that bad if they couldn't find anything right?
Excisional. Hurts way worse than i have thought and all over neck, not just where they took node. You must have presrcrip pain pills and plan to rest. Also lots of mushy food is a good idea. Smoothies, soup, mashed potatoes. Good luck! Surgery was easy. Nothing scary going on. Just riding out the recovery.
Good Afternoon - Let's just say this was not the piece of cake recovery I was expecting. : ( I am fine but have not felt well and several surgical concerns "Is this normal? Is that normal?" have come about. I have not spent one second thinking about the reason for the surgery. Every ounce of my energy has been spent on surgical recovery. : ) I am ok. Post-op is Friday.
I have had almost no itching since the moment they wheeled me into the OR for the biopsy. It's really like my brain and body redirected all of its healing attention elsewhere for the moment. I don't want to go into the details of my biopsy because everyone's is different and you naenae80 are about to have yours. Please simply make sure you plan to rest for 4 days post surgery, have pain meds on hand, and have someone to help you... and it might get worse before it gets better. For example, my day 1 post op was MUCH better than my day 3. Take care and you will be back up an running before you know it. : ) I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow (in advance of my scheduled post-op) due to some swelling/lump like stiff I am seeing in my neck. But I am working today and feel Ok as long as I stay seated and don't try to run around.
Note: The wound itself has itched like crazy! But that's normal I assume. Like when you break your arm, have a cast on, and can't get to the area you need to itch! : ) But the H itch-like symptoms have gone dormant.
Last edited by Upatnight; 05-06-2013 at 12:01 PM.