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Thread: Swollen Lymph Node - Collarbone

  1. #1
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    Aug 2011

    Swollen Lymph Node - Collarbone

    A friend of mine just recently turned 20 and had what appears to have been a small swollen lymph node around her collarbone for months to a year with no symptoms. Except it was moveable. A few days ago she found it had enlarged a bit more, still moveable, except it is tender and painful if it lays in one area of her collarbone if she moves. She went to a doctor who told her it was cancer the moment she, the doctor, heard from the main news that my friend had a lump near her shoulder (Again it's actually collarbone). This doctor is not a cancer specialist but kept insisting my friend actually had lung cancer, she maybe felt the bump twice in all. My friend, scared obviously that this doctor was so certain, let an X-Ray be done which, to my knowledge, showed nothing out of the ordinary. My friend was prescribed an antibiotic to see if it was an infection but obviously, being so young and hearing a doctor insist it was cancerous, my friend had been severely depressed and has now found another smaller moveable bump near this first one just today. (Please note today she also might have pulled a bit hard and bent a lot in that area and recently began the meds a few days ago.)

    She has no other symptoms:
    She is not tired or exhausted although she has been sleeping a lot due to feeling depressed. (For months and recently as in days before the doctor visit, she has been able to stay awake at all hours, have little sleep, and be able to concentrate fully.
    She insists she does want to eat but since being at the doctor she says it's too depressing to.
    She does not have fever, chill, or night sweats
    She has some chest pain at times, but then she is often under stress, aggravation. More than a normal 20 year old should.
    She was told her heart right was really high but this was right after being told by the doctor, who again claims to have known this before seeing the bump and barely touched it, that she had lung cancer.
    She does not smoke or drink
    She was near a broken toaster oven for months that seemed to be melting at the top and the oven was constantly used. Since it has been thrown out.

    Can this swollen Lymph node be something else besides Cancer? I keep reading this spot near the collarbone is supposed to be worrisome but am seeing no other signs.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2011
    In January of 2005 I was working in the middle of the night and rubbed my collar bone - a habit I have. I was surprised when I felt a couple small lumps just behind my collar bone. I called and made an appt to see my doc and he said they were swollen lymph nodes and should go away or be greatly reduced within three weeks. I've got a good doc and he even said, "If you're worried I can schedule an ultrasound." But I wasn't worried and figured he was right and went on my merry way. Three weeks and one day later I happened to rub my collar bone again and felt them again so I looked on my calendar to see when I'd been at the doc. Hmm, just over three weeks. I called and left a message. He called me back and we decided to go with an ultrasound and, depending on how that came back, a biopsy to confirm might be needed. At this point, I'm still not really worried. The day after the ultrasound, I decided to look online. I put in "swollen lymph nodes in neck" and Googled. Very scary since most of my symptoms leaned towards lymphoma rather than an infection. But I surfed some more and came up with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. That really scared me because one of the symptoms was "deep itching". I'd been scratching for a few weeks - mostly my thighs but also my joints. I called his office on Monday, explained I'd looked online and was probably being silly but wanted to tell him about one thing I'd forgotten to mention. He called me back and I told him, adding "but it's winter so it's probably just dry skin". Then he told me what the head of radiology had called to tell him that Friday after I left...that they suspected Hodgkin's.

  3. #3
    Regular User
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    Aug 2011
    I was lucky. It WAS Hodgkin's. But I caught it early - stage 1A. Hodgkin's Lymphoma generally starts in the lymph nodes behind the collar bone, in the arm pits or in the groin area. I joked with my oncologist about how lucky it was that I rubbed my collar bone when I was tired and that it chose to start there...wouldn't have found it until much later otherwise since I don't rub my pits or groin.

  4. #4
    Administrator Top User pbj11's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Wow - Marion! Your post was a little unnerving to read. I'll be darned. See how you stayed on top of it and was able to resolve this particular cancer? I truly wish they all could be handled this way, but some cancers -- such as your boyfriends, are very nasty indeed.

    BTW, those nodes are called the supraclavicular lymph nodes.

    Just Unknown --- I'd suggest your friend pursue this issue with a second opinion. No rational doctor makes a cancer call just by touching a lymph node. He may have seen nodes swollen that have turned out to be malignant, but to outright make this call with no supporting diagnostic tests is just nuts.

    Many cancers are 'silent' where they do not show any noticeable signs until it's well advanced, so her feeling no issues doesn't necessarily put her in the clear.

    See that she goes for bloodwork and a better test than an x-ray so they can get to the bottom of this lump.

    Good luck and God bless,
    Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.

    Post describing our journey: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.ph...er=asc&start=0

    Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!

  5. #5
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    Aug 2011
    As far as I know there is no deep itching, but she always tends to touch it since seeing it more swollen than it was in the past year, I think out of fear of it being there. She says it hurts when she bends from where the lump has shifted near her collarbone. (She has been in the middle of dog training classes with a jumpy dog so for the past few weeks she has been constantly bending at least one day a week over and over to settle him down and he tends to pull his leash.) She has been depressed before, this is just making it worse as since the doctor was so sure she has been afraid to see another opinion, at least now, maybe she will when the fear calms down. She does have sensitive skin, she was born with reddish hair as was I, which I read means fairer , except hers is more tanish (Naturally not faked) from her family background.

    I was there during the hospital visit, just not in the room, and the way she was shaking on her way to X-Ray was something terrible. She was so quiet and crying and it took her a while to say what had happened. We tell each other everything so I know she is telling the truth about what the doctor did, she broke down telling it. Her doctor, the one who was on staff at the time in that place, will not be in for weeks and only for about four hours when she does show up next! Her doctor had told her that as soon as she heard it was a lump, it was cancer. She told a 20 year old girl it was cancer before looking at it, claiming she was saving her life so she could start treatment, and that her profession said every time a person had a lump it was cancer. No blood work was given. The woman who did the X-ray was a bit nicer, from what I heard, telling my friend it was rarely cancer when she heard what the doctor had told her right away, and from what I heard, did not just make a quick diagnosis. The X-ray, the doctor was sure it was lung cancer, turned up nothing unusual (As I said she found the smaller second bump recently, she is still on the antibiotic given as it was for a few days and a pharmacist told us first to get a second opinion and that if it was an infection, it would take longer to go down due to the medicine staying in the body even after the antibiotic treatment would stop. My friend is freaked out and wants results from the antibiotic right away, you can understand). Would the X-ray have also seen the lump in her collarbone?

    And yes, the person she lives with at the moment seriously has spread more germs than I know, and she has been sick a few times in the past few months, we are certain, because of that person. (As during those times she would be severely sick and it would last just a day before going away) (When I'm sick it can last just one day with severe sweating/hot cold feeling or for months with excessive couching, although we both are usually not sick often) She has not been sick for a while. She also takes care of a lot of animals, multiple kittens, a dog who she is training at the same time, guinea pig, rabbits, hamsters, and mice. Not sure if she is ever able to fully clean off the germs from that, she tends to get scratched pretty bad from the kittens, they are just a few months old, when she gives them their bath, usually the scratches are on the neck, collarbone, back area although the doctor said it couldn't be Cat Scratch because of the lack of fever and chills (Yet from what I read a lot of cancers have those beginning symptoms and she was sure it was that from the start) But even if it wasn't Cat Scratch is it possible for those scratches to begin an infection and cause the possibly swollen lymph nodes in the collarbone?

    Also for the sensitive skin, I do not believe she breaks out in any rashes or from scratches, although the cats do make small scratches that do bleed a little, since their nails are due to be cut. In fact, she has mentioned how she never has raised scratch marks when she gets clawed during baths, but as I said, she does get clawed Her skin was red a little around the area yesterday. The antibiotic (Clephaxin I think it was spelt), I think can cause reddened skin. She did not have that before the medicine and it might have disappeared or could have been from her sleeping on it or rubbing excessively. I think it might have disappeared, the redness.

  6. #6
    Administrator Top User ChemoMan's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    South Australia
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    Your friend needs to see a doctor, please try and convince her to go. I do not think this is cancer but you never know and a doctor is her best way to find out what is wrong.

    There is little anyone can do now, best to leave it here. we are always here to help should you friend actually have cancer.
    Age 60
    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 AND DECLARED CURED on the 2/01/2013

    No more scheduled visits to the Prof

    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.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2014
    Back in November during my 6mo. follow up, my oncologist felt a swollen lyph node in my neck. He did a CT that said it was fine but the C.T. found a swollen lyph node in my chest so i had a PET scan done. Also clear. (Probably caused by my reconstructive surgery) With that in mind...
    I was itching my neck last night and felt by my collar bone, there is a swollen lyph node. I can't compare this to the one he felt around the same area because I couldn't feel it back in November. It doesn't hurt and I haven't been sick.
    Do I bother to call him?
    I had breast cancer last year and finished chemo. back in May.

  8. #8
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    new york

    So sorry you are nervous and scared but the best thing you can do is make an appointment and see your doctor. We can't guess or diagnose you on this forum. Also note, you posted to a thread that is over a year and a half old.

    Best of luck to you.



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