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Thread: Swollen Lymph Node in neck - chances it is cancer?

  1. #1

    Swollen Lymph Node in neck - chances it is cancer?

    Hello:
    I had the unpleasant opportunity to go to a proctologist due to hemmroids that do not want to go away. The doctor, who appeared very young and new, informed me that I had internal hemmroids and he gave me a cream. End of the story with the hemmroids. He then decided to check my glands (lymph nodes) in my underarms and neck. He did not do this due to anything that he saw during my proctology exam, but more of just to check. It may be due to the fact that I told him that I had Melanoma 2 years ago. My case of Melanoma was a stage 0 and regular checkups with my dermotologist have shown that all is good with that. I did not require anything other than for them to cut out the melanoma because it was found in the very very early stages.
    Anyway, during his inspection of my lymph nodes he stated that he "felt" a lymph node in my neck and one in my underarm. I can now feel where he is talking about regarding the one in my neck. It feels more like a small mass and not a defined bump. It is really hard to feel. The one that he stated that he found in my underarm I cannot detect. I almost think that the one on my neck has always been there, but I am not all that sure. The doc said that he was unsure as to exactly what it was, however he said on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the worst case) he said that he would consider this a 1 and not to worry. He seemed to be somewhat unexperienced in examining lymph nodes. And I am unsure how much experience a protcologist/surgeon gets in doing these types of exams. However, he then made an appointment for me to have a CAT scan followed up by an oncologist. It should be noted that about two weeks ago I got rid of an ear infection that lingered for a week or so. I have also shared some of the colds that my kids continually get over the winter. Furthermore, I went to my regular doctor about a month ago for the hemmroids and he checked my glands (really briefly) and he did not note any irregularities.
    Then comes the internet and my research. And I find that this could really be a sign of cancer. So needless to say I am very worried. Any thoughts or opinions of the chances that a swollen lymph is a strong sign of cancer would be much appreciated. By the way.......I feel completely normal and do not have any sicknesses. Thanks and Happy Holidays

  2. #2
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    Hello Smudge,

    Sorry to hear about your ordeals. I am currently a lymphoma patient. Enlarged nodes in the neck and armpits with no other symptoms is worth getting checked out with a CT scan. Some forms of lymphoma are very slow growing and non aggressive. These might go unnoticed for years. It could also be that these nodes are simply doing what they're supposed to do and respond to some sort of infection or disease.

    Better safe than sorry as they say and get it checked out.

  3. #3
    I have had a few colds in the last 2-3 months, an ear infection a few weeks ago and possibly a sinus infection. Could this be the LIKELY reason for the enlarged nodes or is cancer MORE LIKELY the issue? I guess what I am getting at is is it more likely or less likely that enlarged nodes are cancerous? Thanks

  4. #4
    Better safe than sorry so when a suspicious lump appears anywhere, it is best to have it examined carefully.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Smudge
    I have had a few colds in the last 2-3 months, an ear infection a few weeks ago and possibly a sinus infection. Could this be the LIKELY reason for the enlarged nodes or is cancer MORE LIKELY the issue? I guess what I am getting at is is it more likely or less likely that enlarged nodes are cancerous? Thanks
    Anyone?

  6. #6

    Re: Swollen Lymph Node in neck - chances it is cancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudge
    Hello:
    I had the unpleasant opportunity to go to a proctologist due to hemmroids that do not want to go away. The doctor, who appeared very young and new, informed me that I had internal hemmroids and he gave me a cream. End of the story with the hemmroids. He then decided to check my glands (lymph nodes) in my underarms and neck. He did not do this due to anything that he saw during my proctology exam, but more of just to check. It may be due to the fact that I told him that I had Melanoma 2 years ago. My case of Melanoma was a stage 0 and regular checkups with my dermotologist have shown that all is good with that. I did not require anything other than for them to cut out the melanoma because it was found in the very very early stages.
    Anyway, during his inspection of my lymph nodes he stated that he "felt" a lymph node in my neck and one in my underarm. I can now feel where he is talking about regarding the one in my neck. It feels more like a small mass and not a defined bump. It is really hard to feel. The one that he stated that he found in my underarm I cannot detect. I almost think that the one on my neck has always been there, but I am not all that sure. The doc said that he was unsure as to exactly what it was, however he said on a scale of 0-10 (10 being the worst case) he said that he would consider this a 1 and not to worry. He seemed to be somewhat unexperienced in examining lymph nodes. And I am unsure how much experience a protcologist/surgeon gets in doing these types of exams. However, he then made an appointment for me to have a CAT scan followed up by an oncologist. It should be noted that about two weeks ago I got rid of an ear infection that lingered for a week or so. I have also shared some of the colds that my kids continually get over the winter. Furthermore, I went to my regular doctor about a month ago for the hemmroids and he checked my glands (really briefly) and he did not note any irregularities.
    Then comes the internet and my research. And I find that this could really be a sign of cancer. So needless to say I am very worried. Any thoughts or opinions of the chances that a swollen lymph is a strong sign of cancer would be much appreciated. By the way.......I feel completely normal and do not have any sicknesses. Thanks and Happy Holidays
    I remember rushing my than 8 year old daughter to the doctors beause of the lump that I felt on the back of her neck right at the base of the skull. He told me it was a clogged lymph node, probably enlarged because of an infection and than never drained. She is now 32 and that little sucker is still there and can be felt. hope this eases your mind a little until you can get to see your doctor. It could be anything including a harmless cyst.

  7. #7
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    lucky for you it appears yours is nothing to worry about. October 9th 2006 i discovered an enlarger lymph node in my neck as you did. After 4 blood tests, 2 fine needle asperations(needle byopsy) a ct scan, chest x-ray. all were negative. my doctor was persistant thinking there was a cause. so he sent me for a PET scan and ordered a byopsy of my tonsil. well here is is December27th and I have tonsil cancer which is stage 4. I am scheduled to enter the Cleveland Clinic Jan 8th for 72 straight hours of Chemo and 8 weeks of radiaton. I'm really scared. if anyone can give me words of encourgement it would really help.

  8. #8
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    Re: Swollen Lymph Node in neck - chances it is cancer?

    Fish, I'm so sorry to hear that you are starting out the new year this way...The first of this year I had breast cancer & had my surgery January 6th." My birthday"..... My daughter didn't want me to have it that day, but I said: what better present than to get rid of the intruder.....I am cancer "FREE"...soon to be one year....so there is a light & hope for us all....I really don't know what to say to encourage you except to have faith in the one who created us & just know that you are not alone here...
    Lots of prayers going up for your strength to see you through the roads ahead.
    MomG DX 11-23-05 @ 65 yrs. old. Simple mastectomy RB 0.7 cm 1-6-06ER- 3+PR- 3+HER2/nev (herceptest) Negitive, 0+Main Sentinel Node - NegetiveArimidex 1mg. for next 5 years. Onc. Stopped the Arimidex, too much pain &* side effects. Evista 60mg. a day. No osteoporosis. No Chemo or radiation.
    Mother, lung, liver cancer, Aunt, BC, Sister, Bile Duct Liver cancer

  9. #9
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    thank you for the kind words and prayers...i am very scared but have learned that prayer gives me strength. my chemo that i start Jan 8th is 2 different types given at the same time for 96 straight hours. radiation starts on the 8th also. i often ask myself why me. than i get bouts of depression. it does help talking to people like you who have expierenced this. thank you so much!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Swollen Lymph Node in neck - chances it is cancer?

    I've learned over the years, that having a positive attitude is one of the greatest healing process we have built in...we just got to choose to use it....Either way, we make a choice...it's sometimes hard, but neverless we make a choice....I was blessed to not have chemo or radiation, so I'm not experienced in that area, I'm sure there are others that can give you more of what to expect...also, just read some of the post of those who have had this experence....I don't post much, but I have read this forum since January of this year & believe me, it helped to find out from others who had been through what I was facing to cope with each day....So just take one day at a time & don't cross the bridge till you come to it...I have learned when I wake up, to give praise for another day....life is precious so I enjoy every moment of it...
    May God bless & give you the strength to face each moment ahead.
    MomG DX 11-23-05 @ 65 yrs. old. Simple mastectomy RB 0.7 cm 1-6-06ER- 3+PR- 3+HER2/nev (herceptest) Negitive, 0+Main Sentinel Node - NegetiveArimidex 1mg. for next 5 years. Onc. Stopped the Arimidex, too much pain &* side effects. Evista 60mg. a day. No osteoporosis. No Chemo or radiation.
    Mother, lung, liver cancer, Aunt, BC, Sister, Bile Duct Liver cancer

  11. #11
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fish1959
    lucky for you it appears yours is nothing to worry about. October 9th 2006 i discovered an enlarger lymph node in my neck as you did. After 4 blood tests, 2 fine needle asperations(needle byopsy) a ct scan, chest x-ray. all were negative. my doctor was persistant thinking there was a cause. so he sent me for a PET scan and ordered a byopsy of my tonsil. well here is is December27th and I have tonsil cancer which is stage 4. I am scheduled to enter the Cleveland Clinic Jan 8th for 72 straight hours of Chemo and 8 weeks of radiaton. I'm really scared. if anyone can give me words of encourgement it would really help.
    Fish, I am so sorry about your diagnosis. I hope all goes well with you. At least you have a doctor who does not give up until he/she finds the cause. Best wishes. I will be thinking about you and praying for you.
    Jim
    Long-term cancer survivor
    1992 Astrocytoma grade 2, left motor strip
    2005 Recurrence this time said to be an Oligodendroglioma grade 3, same location.
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2405
    My Story Part 1: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=2528
    My Story Part 2: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=7350
    My Story Part 3: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8029

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    i will do just that. wake up tomarrow and face that day and not worry about what happens 3 days from now.....thanks, mom...and god bless you

  13. #13
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    thanks so much brainman...i NEVER thought this would happen to me...i say that alot. the prayers, the thoughts and words of encourgement from people that have gone thru this is so helpfull. it really gives me strength

 
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