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    Old 07-11-2004, 08:55 AM   #1
    serpentgirl
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    painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Hi,

    I'm posting because 3 days ago, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. It is most noticable when I lift my head all the way back. It's also noticeable because I am thin. I felt it and noticed it consisted of 4 palpable, slightly swollen nodes. The nodes are each about the size of a baked bean. I went to the doctor who told me they were probably just from an infection and not to worry. He ordered a CBC test to be sure and I got the bloodwork drawn Friday. I'm now waiting for the results and scared to death!!! My main cause of concern is that the nodes are painless. Aren't nodes caused by infection suppoed to cause pain? Everything I've looked at on line says that painless nodes indicate cancer. Could there be anything else that could cause nodes to swell up slightly but not cause pain??? I have bad allergies. I've had a post nasal drip for 2 years straight and recently I've been coughing and my nose has been running more. I also have TMJ, which I've heard could cause nodes to swell up, but these nodes are not really near the jaw joint. Thirdly, I'm a singer. I haven't sang too much recently because my band broke up, but I still walk around singing in the shower and such. Also, I've had a couple other nodes swollen to the same size on the other side of my neck for years that I was told not to worry about (these are single nodes though, not a cluster as the new ones are) and my mom has mentioned she has nodes in her neck that have been swollen for years. I will be 27 next month and I have no other symptoms of lymphoma. Thanks for any insight you can provide!!!

    Best wishes,
    -S

     
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    Old 07-11-2004, 09:26 AM   #2
    paterin
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    You really need to get the bloodwork back, and then probably see the ENT, to determine if it a problem lymph node or a syst. Is this lump hard? moving around? does it hurt? These are things that you need to know.
    Take care, feel better... Keep singing!
    Paterin

     
    Old 07-11-2004, 09:58 AM   #3
    Marimac
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serpentgirl
    Hi,

    I'm posting because 3 days ago, I noticed a small lump on the left side of my neck. It is most noticable when I lift my head all the way back. It's also noticeable because I am thin. I felt it and noticed it consisted of 4 palpable, slightly swollen nodes. The nodes are each about the size of a baked bean. I went to the doctor who told me they were probably just from an infection and not to worry. He ordered a CBC test to be sure and I got the bloodwork drawn Friday. I'm now waiting for the results and scared to death!!! My main cause of concern is that the nodes are painless. Aren't nodes caused by infection suppoed to cause pain? Everything I've looked at on line says that painless nodes indicate cancer. Could there be anything else that could cause nodes to swell up slightly but not cause pain??? I have bad allergies. I've had a post nasal drip for 2 years straight and recently I've been coughing and my nose has been running more. I also have TMJ, which I've heard could cause nodes to swell up, but these nodes are not really near the jaw joint. Thirdly, I'm a singer. I haven't sang too much recently because my band broke up, but I still walk around singing in the shower and such. Also, I've had a couple other nodes swollen to the same size on the other side of my neck for years that I was told not to worry about (these are single nodes though, not a cluster as the new ones are) and my mom has mentioned she has nodes in her neck that have been swollen for years. I will be 27 next month and I have no other symptoms of lymphoma. Thanks for any insight you can provide!!!

    Best wishes,
    -S
    Lymphoma is the last thing on the list of things to be concerned about. The CBC may indicate anemia which could cause swollen lymph nodes. I hope everything works out for the best. Worrying too much will cause stress and reduce your ability to fight infection. Take Care.

     
    Old 07-11-2004, 10:06 AM   #4
    paterin
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Marimac:
    You are a wise individual, and have kind words for those looking for answers to fears of the unknown. Thaks for being here..
    Pat

     
    Old 07-11-2004, 07:11 PM   #5
    ysco
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Cervical lymph nodes are quite common and can be caused by numerous factors, too many to list. Since you mentioned you were thin your nodes may be palpable but perfectly normal, or possibly post-reactive (ie following an infection). I would definitely not be too worried. You are young, keep in mind lymphoma is very rare at your age group. The info you find on the internet can be sometimes deceiving, I know from experience. It's not a good idea to rush into conclusions; simply follow what your doctor says. I'm sure you will be just fine.

    Good luck

     
    Old 07-12-2004, 03:14 PM   #6
    serpentgirl
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Hi again,

    I want to thank you all for responding and enlightening me to the facts of swollen lymph nodes and lymphoma! The information found on the internet can be so confusing. I probably still have a few days before the results of my CBC test come back, but reading your posts has helped me put things more in perspective. I am still scared, as I've watched 2 friends die young (30's) from cancer and another one is battling it right now, but being frightened and informed is much better than being frightened and clueless!....Again, thanks so so so much for your help and I will keep you informed.

    Cheers,
    -S

     
    Old 07-22-2004, 02:53 PM   #7
    serpentgirl
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Well.....my CBC (which included liver and kidney functions) results came back "great" according to my doctor. Does anyone have statistics on how accurate CBC's are in detecting lymphoma????? I KNOW the only way to truly diagnose lymphoma is to have a biopsy done, but I really don't want to do that unless I have to. I want to wait a few weeks without touching the nodes (I've been messing with them like crazy up to this point....but I know I must stop) to see what happens. I am scared to death and am trying to get reassurance where I can! In case you didn't read my other posts, I'm 27 with several nodes swollen to about 5 - 7 mm under my jaw on the left side, in the submandiblular region. They are hard (rubbery) and very movable. Woke up this way one morning 2 weeks ago and haven't changed. I'm going to see an ENT about the chronic post nasal drip I've had for 2 years soon and I'm going to mention the nodes to him. Hopefully he won't think it's serious.

     
    Old 07-24-2004, 04:06 PM   #8
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    dear s,
    try not to worry to much, i am 29 and have had nodes swollen all over my body since april. I now have a gulf ball size lump in my groin and are on my way to a surgeon on thursday. I am not sure what to tell you about your CBC because my liver function came back some what abnormal but my oncologist still is not a hundred percent that i have lymphoma but since I have started having night sweats and this new lump in my groin he thought it would be good to see a surgeon. So anyway i totally know what you are going through i have been here for 3 months now i wish i had more answers for you , sorry. But yo hang in there and be happy for your positive news keep thinking positive and it will all work out.

    Good luck,
    kerrie

     
    Old 07-25-2004, 11:06 AM   #9
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Kerrie,

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I wish you all the best and am holding positive thoughts for you. Please let us know what happens.

    -S

     
    Old 07-29-2004, 04:31 PM   #10
    serpentgirl
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Hi,

    I don't know if anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I had another question.....I recently started thinking about the enlarged node I've had on the other side of my neck for somewhere between 6 months to a year and a half. I touched it and it is still pea sized, but there are now 2 other pea sized nodes around it. One may actually be smaller than pea sized, but it is palpable. This to go along with the nodes that recently appeared on the other side of my neck. None of them are over 1 cm except one I've been continually playing with. I have no other symptoms of lymphoma and my CBC came back normal. Would it be normal for lymphoma to start spreading while none of the nodes are over 1 cm? Would it be more likely this is coming from my chronic post nasal drip and / or TMJ related bracing??? I have an appointment with an ENT next week, but I am going crazy with worry. Please answer, someone!

     
    Old 07-29-2004, 06:19 PM   #11
    Marimac
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serpentgirl
    Hi,

    I don't know if anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I had another question.....I recently started thinking about the enlarged node I've had on the other side of my neck for somewhere between 6 months to a year and a half. I touched it and it is still pea sized, but there are now 2 other pea sized nodes around it. One may actually be smaller than pea sized, but it is palpable. This to go along with the nodes that recently appeared on the other side of my neck. None of them are over 1 cm except one I've been continually playing with. I have no other symptoms of lymphoma and my CBC came back normal. Would it be normal for lymphoma to start spreading while none of the nodes are over 1 cm? Would it be more likely this is coming from my chronic post nasal drip and / or TMJ related bracing??? I have an appointment with an ENT next week, but I am going crazy with worry. Please answer, someone!
    If you have been constantly touching the original node it may have become irritated and the other nodes are responding by intercepting some of the excess fluids that are draining as a result of irritation. Remember that only a biopsy can tell you about cancer. But, remember to eliminate the most common cases of lymphnode enlargements to be reactive from normal things like irritation, inflammation, foreign body reactions to dental work, braces, allergic responses to toothpaste, some people have lymph glands and salivary glands that respond by swelling when they eat too many carbohydrates! Please try not to worry until the doctor has a chance to look.

     
    Old 07-30-2004, 04:47 PM   #12
    serpentgirl
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Thank you once again, Marimac! Thank you so much for listening.....Are you sick of me yet ? I've decided I am going to try to get this "illness anxiety" under control the best I can because I'm driving myself nuts. Today I found another node buried deep in tissue under my jaw. At first I thought it was the size of a quarter (I suppose because of the tissue surrounding it) and just about lost it. Upon further examination (which included me digging my fingers into my neck in an attempt to catch the slippery node), I realised it was closer to the size of a pea, like the others. I relaxed a bit at that point, but I also realized how crazy I was getting over this. Until I see the doc next week, I've decided I'm going to try to stay away from the internet, enjoy my 27th birthday and do my best not to obsess over this. I am very thankful for all the support I've recieved on on this board and will let you know what the doc says.

    -S

     
    Old 07-30-2004, 05:09 PM   #13
    ysco
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by serpentgirl
    Hi,

    I don't know if anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I had another question.....I recently started thinking about the enlarged node I've had on the other side of my neck for somewhere between 6 months to a year and a half. I touched it and it is still pea sized, but there are now 2 other pea sized nodes around it. One may actually be smaller than pea sized, but it is palpable. This to go along with the nodes that recently appeared on the other side of my neck. None of them are over 1 cm except one I've been continually playing with. I have no other symptoms of lymphoma and my CBC came back normal. Would it be normal for lymphoma to start spreading while none of the nodes are over 1 cm?
    I think you got an health anxiety issue... Reading your posts I'd confidently say the chances you got lymphoma are very slim.
    Concerning your question, it is hard to say. In general meaning it varies greatly between the types and grades of lymphoma.
    But basically, as far as I know, lymphomas tend to create localized tumors at their primary site(s) initially (which usually are greater than 1cm, unless detected very early) rather than spreading to other areas. Whether it would be "normal"? Cancers are not exact science. Nonetheless, I would say the answer to this question is no, unless it is a very aggresive type.


    Quote:
    Would it be more likely this is coming from my chronic post nasal drip and / or TMJ related bracing??? I have an appointment with an ENT next week, but I am going crazy with worry. Please answer, someone!
    Yes. much more likely. The fact you mentioned you were "playing" with your nodes may be another reason why they haven't withdrawn yet. Lymph nodes are sensitive organs, over touching them may actually keep them enlarged. Or, they may be perfectly normal in size, but you're just obsessing with them for no reason.


    Hope this helps

    Last edited by ysco; 07-30-2004 at 05:19 PM.

     
    Old 08-01-2004, 08:13 AM   #14
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    You shouldn't worry.

    I went to the doctor last week and I had swollen nodes. She said they can be caused by any type of infection,something even has simple as a cold, or even just a post-nasal drip.

    She also said they would take several weeks to shrink. My didn't ache either and they're normal so try not to worry! And touching them CAN make them worse- mine didn't start going down till I finally left it alone.

     
    Old 08-18-2004, 04:19 PM   #15
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    Re: painless nodes in neck....very worried

    Thanks everyone for your responses which I so appreciate! I went to an ENT a few weeks ago. He examined me and said he's not too worried about the nodes. He sent me for allergy testing and it turns out I'm a very, very allergic person. Hopefully this is why the nodes enlarged. I started to calm down after that point but I'm still a little nervous. I went a week without touching them, but I started feeling a little itchy a few days ago (I think this is a reaction to a laundry detergent because it's gotten somewhat better over the past few days) and got scared so I felt them again. They felt about the same size....maybe a little smaller. I know I have to let them go longer to really tell...Being able to talk you all has really helped me with this.

    All the best,
    -S

     
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