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Thread: Referral to a hematologist - what to expect

  1. #1

    Referral to a hematologist - what to expect

    Hello all

    I would be very grateful for some advice regarding what to expect when I see the hematologist.

    I am 35 years old and had and one swollen lymph node in my right groin for 6 weeks. I went to see my doctor before Christmas and they suggested to observe and did some bloods (which came back clear).

    Over Christmas I have not felt myself and have not had much of an appetite or been able to drink much. since then the lymph nodes appear to be spreading. I now have 3 lumps in my right groin and 4 in my left. I can also feel about 15 lumps in my abdomen mostly below my navel, but about 6 just above this area. I have no pain in the groin lumps, but do feel pain in the ones in my abdomen, particularly if I have a glass of wine (hence the no drinking over Christmas).

    I have lost 16lb since my first visit to the doctors before Christmas so when I went to see her yesterday she said she wanted to send my for an urgent referral to see a haematologist. I have had some bloods today, and she said that they may do a lymph and bone marrow test?

    I was just wondering if anyone else has had similar symptoms and what the tests involve?

    I'm very anxious, but don't want to scare my family so i'm keeping things to myself (for now anyway)
    Many Thanks
    Baggpuss

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User brainman's Avatar
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    baggpuss, since most swollen lymph nodes are due to an infection, it is very likely that the next step will be some type of systeming antibiotic. It does concern me that you have lost 16lbs since just before Christmas but anxiety could account for that. It is still a significant loss. Keep us updated.
    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
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  3. #3
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi baggpuss

    The hematologist will order more tests. One of them will be a node biopsy most probably and they will probably excise a whole node. You may or may not get a CT scan or more ultrasound and probably more bloodwork. All these tests are minor and there is nothing to worry about. If you do get a positive result you will find out from your hematologist what to expect next. If you do a google for "what to ask your hematologist" you will get a good idea of what the questions should be. Do this and make a list of questions to ask and please ask them when you see them.

    Good luck
    Age 58
    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

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

  4. #4
    Hi brainman & ChemoMan (Wish i'd have though of a cooler name!)

    Many thanks both, for your posts!

    It sounds like you've both had a really rough time and I truly admire your strength. Also the support, which you both give to scared people like myself globally!

    I live in the UK so the NHS has a 2 week referral set up for urgent cases. So hopefully I will be seen soon and put my mind at ease

    I had bloods today for TFT, FBC, CRP, ESR, LFT & U&E's so they should be with the hematologist when I go. Would any of these bloods show if it were a lymphoma??

    My doctor mentioned a bone marrow biopsy? Do you know what that is and how they do it?

    Sorry for being so naive! and THANK YOU for understanding my concerns. It means so much to speak to people who openly understand the early fears associated with waiting for a diagnosis.
    I'll keep you informed when I know my date with the hematologist xx

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Hi again

    A bone marrow biopsy is done from your hip and they will put you under when it happens. I had a little discomfort from it, it felt like a bruise for about a week. Bloodwork can't really pick things up but it can give an indication that something is wrong. What is crucial in diagnosing lymphoma is the node biopsy. The bone marrow biopsies are done to look for Leukemia. Leukemia and Lymphoma are cancers of the same cell lines but at different stages in the cell growth.
    I did not have a really tough time, in fact it was a lot easier than I thought. Sometimes when I read others stories I feel guilty that I had it so easy. All blood cancers can now be treated with very good results and very good survival rates , so even if you do get a positive , there is plenty of life to look forward to
    try and relax a bit and don't look to deep into the net, in fact I would avoid that until you have a firm diagnosis, but I hope that you get a big negative result
    Age 58
    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

    RULE NUMBER 1.....Don't Panic
    RULE NUMBER 2..... Don't forget rule Number 1

    Great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

    I may not have gone where I intended to go,
    but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

 
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