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Thread: How long can lymph nodes stay swollen?

  1. #1
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    How long can lymph nodes stay swollen?

    Hi everyone, my name is Josh and i'm 20 years old. Here's my story regarding a recent bout with multiple swollen lymph nodes.
    December: I noticed a stony hard, 1 cm lymph node in my right neck which would move when pushed. I went to an ENT who had previously removed my tonsils, and he said its nothing to worry about at all and to only come back if it got bigger. During that time i was feeling headaches and slight fatigue. No other symptoms.

    January: This is about 3 weeks after my ENT appointment. I start feeling generally unwell and notice some swollen lymph nodes in various parts of my neck. I also start feeling shortness of breath, chest pain, joint pain, slight itching, and weight loss. The headache, fatigue have gone away. I go to another doctor who says its a viral infection and says i have an inner ear infection as well. The symptoms and swollen nodes persist throughout the month, so i went for another checkup. I get a blood test and chest x ray which both come back negative.

    February: Fast forward to now, the shortness of breath, joint pain, itching have all completely gone away. The nodes in my neck are slowly going down including the hard one, but sometimes i wonder if it's just "waxing and waning". I am now experiencing what I think are night sweats/day sweats, but no "drenching" just a sweaty sticky feeling with chills. Chest pain only in the mornings, but its rare now. I also noticed a hard .5 cm node in my right groin area that is slightly painful and doesn't really move.

    I have had no visible lumps or bulges or low grade fevers.

    My questions are, How long can lymph nodes stay swollen for? Am I being impatient with them? Should I get another opinion?

    Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Hey Josh!

    I can completely identify with what your going through....
    I'm the same age as you, 20, I too have had numerous swollen lymph nodes since September.

    When I first noticed mine, it was one large, hard, non moveable lymph node under my chin where it meets the neck. I went to the doctor who referred me to an ENT doctor...they done numerous ultrasound scans, my lymph node went from 1.2cm to 1.4cm. I then had an FNA biopsy, which shown 'reactive lymph node', which basically suggests It was
    reacting to an infection of some sort, although there was no infections
    present, if there were...they didn't affect me in the slightest....
    Anyway, while I was waiting for my next visit to the hospital, I discovered plenty more swollen lymph nodes on the sides of my neck and on the back, also behind my right ear and 1 just above my collar bone.
    I had the first, initial lymph node removed for a biopsy and I am currently awaiting the results, on the 1st of March.
    I had this surgery 2 weeks ago, and since then a couple more lymph nodes have appeared.
    Anyway, my story is basically the same as yours, I suffered extremely badly with fatigue, to the point I could not leave my bed for 2 months...
    My nan has had non-Hodgkins Lymphma twice....this concerns me!

    All I would say to you is to request an excisional biopsy as FNA biopsies are not reliable.

    But to answer your question.....lymph nodes due to infection are meant to go away once the infection has cleared up....lymph nodes are meant to be investigated if they have not gone, or shrunk, within a month...the Doctor will probably make you wait longer...they made me wait 6 months until they done anything about mine! Keep us up to date!
    & good luck!!
    Last edited by Michellej92; 02-17-2012 at 12:08 AM.

  3. #3
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    thank you for your response Michelle, i hope all goes well for you. please update me on your biopsy results.

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi Josh

    How long is a piece of string? well the answer to that is it depends. As Michelle pointed out if the nodes are swollen due to infection they should shrink once the infection is over. In the case of Lymphoma then the nodes will stay swollen until the lymphoma is put into remission with treatment.

    Keep plugging away until you get some answers that make sense to you. For the record your symptoms are not really indicative of Lymphoma but then I am not a doctor. The night sweats associated with Lymphoma are drenching and you would wake up with your sheets soaking wet so you can relax there. As a watch and wait is always on order you can expect this to happen so you do need patience.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
    Age 57
    Diffuse Large B cell Lymphoma
    Stage 2a
    Finished six cycles of R chop 21 26th May 2008
    Officially in remission 9th July 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 1st October 2008
    Remission reconfirmed 17th June 2009
    Remission reconfirmed 7th June 2010
    Remission reconfirmed 6th July 2011
    NED on the 2/01/2013
    No more scheduled visits to the Prof
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9620

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  5. #5
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    Just to be different..no one has ever accused me of being normal, my nodes were up, squishy and gone in 2 months then another would rise and go.
    I had an excisional biopsy booked and my biggest fear was that there would still be one to biopsy.
    Aussie, age 57
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011.
    Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.
    Still NED Nov 2012. On to yearly bloods now.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma. A lump in otherwords, nodule if you wish to be specific.

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    thank you for your responses. i'm going to wait everything out since my symptoms have mostly gone away. I understand with viral infections, lymph nodes can take a few months to go away. I also have been touching them a lot which im sure has just irritated them even more. Also there is no history of cancer in my family on either my father or mothers side, so its quite unlikely in my opinion; but then again anything can happen.

  7. #7
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    I think that you are doing the sensible thing for the time being. If you do have concerns later then please have it checked out.
    Aussie, age 57
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011.
    Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.
    Still NED Nov 2012. On to yearly bloods now.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma. A lump in otherwords, nodule if you wish to be specific.

    CancerForums User Policy

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...picture-policy

    Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

  8. #8
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    I have a swollen lymph node on my neck, and it has been there for several months now, and i have also been noticing that i have been more tiresome, irritable, itchy, and get cold chills. I have got a cat scan on it an the surgeon said that it wasn't anything to be worried about, but it isn't going down in size and i still have all the same symptoms. I'm wondering if i should be getting more concerned about this. I have not noticed any other swollen lymph nodes since prior finding out about the original one.

  9. #9
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    Hello.

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...h-NO-diagnosis

    To those thinking of posting in Lymphoma Forum with NO diagnosis

    UPDATED FOR 2013

    Welcome to The Cancer Forums. You have reached the Hodgkin's and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Forum. We of the forum are not doctors (or, if there are any, they are in hiding...), we are simply a loose-knit group of lymphoma patients and caregivers, using our shared experiences to support one another.

    In our limited area of expertise, we are qualified to provide informal support for those who have actually been diagnosed with lymphoma, or to provide informal support for those who care for those who have actually been diagnosed with lymphoma.

    If there is no lymphoma diagnosis, then there is nothing that we can do to help you.

    That is an important point, so allow me to repeat it with emphasis.

    If there is no lymphoma diagnosis, then there is nothing that we can do to help you.

    The reason that we cannot help you is because there is no way for us to tell what, if anything, is wrong. Most of the common symptoms for lymphoma are also caused by many other things; cold, influenza, infection, allergy, other forms of cancer, constant prodding of a node, menopause, hypochondria, cannibal laughing sickness...they range from the mundanely common to the ridiculously rare, with lymphoma being one of the rarer reasons. Even a doctor cannot tell whether or not you have lymphoma, regardless of how detailed an explanation of your symptoms you can give. The only way that lymphoma can be diagnosed is with a biopsy of a suspicious node or tissue.

    What we can tell you is that, in the past, out of the hundreds of people over the years that have come here worrying about lymphoma, only about 1% of them came back to say that they were, in fact, diagnosed with some form of lymphoma. That number is both small enough for us to say that what you have is probably is not lymphoma, and large enough for us to say that we cannot tell you that what you have is definitely not lymphoma. In other words, we cannot tell you anything, other than to say to see a doctor for further consultation if you remain concerned.

    Should the unfortunate diagnosis of lymphoma ever come for you, then we will of course welcome you to this forum with open arms. Until that time, to put it bluntly, it is not really appropriate for you to be posting here. Any such inappropriate posts may be subject to deletion and/or disciplinary action at the discretion of the moderators and administrators.

    If you need financial help in getting the tests necessary to help determine the cause of your symptoms, please utilize the Financial Issues Forum. Both areas already have a wealth of information that may answer any lingering questions that you have; if not, people on those forums will be happy to discuss your concerns with you as necessary.

    Thank you in advance for your understanding.
    Aussie, age 57
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011.
    Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.
    Still NED Nov 2012. On to yearly bloods now.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma. A lump in otherwords, nodule if you wish to be specific.

    CancerForums User Policy

    http://www.cancerforums.net/threads/...picture-policy

    Out of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the most.

 
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