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Thread: Went Through a Couple Tests - Concerned

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Went Through a Couple Tests - Concerned

    Hi All,

    So I am fairly young, at 25 years old. With no family history of Lymphoma. However, Iíve been on a long journey with my enlarged lymph nodes. I think Iím getting closer to a diagnosis, but at the same time, very worried about what that may be. I will admit, Iíve been doing way too much internet searching on this subject, and itís quite scary.

    It all started about a year, and six months ago. I found an enlarged node on the left side of my neck. It was never painful. Just enlarged. After two weeks of it being the same size, I decided to make an appointment with my GP to check it out. They were very unconcerned with it. Said that I probably had a virus or something and it will probably never return to normal size. So, I left feeling slightly better. Over the next week, I had two more nodes enlarge behind my right ear. These nodes were very tiny (and still are!). So back to the GP I went. Again, they basically shrugged it off. I was no longer happy with that answer, so I went to a ENT. He basically felt the nodes and said they are ďvery small, donít even worry about themĒ. I felt okay about everything at that point, and went on with my life, not even thinking about those silly nodes.

    Now I have two more tiny nodes. In front of my ears on both sides. Now everyone is freaking out and Iím going through all these tests. So far Iíve had an ultrasound of the nodes, and a CT scan of my neck, as well as blood tests. They didnít tell me much about my results. Just that the radiologist said ďcannot rule out lymphomaĒ and they are referring me to an ENT to look over the scans. My GP thinks a biopsy will be next. I have no other symptoms and generally live a normal life.

    My questions are, should I be this concerned? Is this pretty standard procedure for diagnosing enlarged nodes? Is the biopsy painful?

    Sorry for the long post, just hoping someone can ease my fears for now. Thanks

  2. #2
    Doctors can't diagnose almost any cancer without a biopsy, if they suspect lymphoma or another cancer its pretty much standard procedure.

    They anesthetize you before they do it- you won't likely have a problem with pain. They do millions of biopsies, huge labs with hundreds of doctors looking at slides. Just another day at the office for them, your doctor could probably do it blindfolded but probably won't. Relax.
    Nov 2013 PSA 4.2 Biopsy Jan 2014- 1 core positive, 20% Gleason 6, doctor highly reco'ed robotic RP - 2nd opinion at UPMC April 2014, put on active surveillance. 2nd biopsy Feb 2015, results negative. PSA test Feb 2016, 3.5. 3rd Biopsy Feb 2016. 3 positive cores less than 5%, Gleason 6. Octotype DX done April 2016, GPS Score of 24--rated "Low risk". PSA test 8/2016, 3.2. PSA test 1/2018 2.2 (after 7 months of proscar) PSA test 7/2018 2.3, PSA test 7/2019 2.0

    DOB 1956, in Pittsburgh, USA

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Southside pretty much summed it up. Other than doing an actual biopsy, any sort of diagnosis based on scans, blood testing, etc. is just speculation.

    Although CT scans don't do much for diagnosis itself, they are very useful for determining the extent and distribution of affected nodes. If, by some chance (probably pretty low, in your case) the diagnosis is lymphoma, you would then expect to do a full body CT scan to see the extent. In the case of lymphoma, it doesn't really matter if they are localized or all over - the treatment regimen will remain the same and the outcomes aren't affected much by the spread of the disease. But, we are getting way ahead of ourselves here....

    Pain isn't usually a big issue with a biopsy of a shallow node. They'll likely give you some pain meds if you need them. I had a large node in my groin biopsied, and I don't think I took any meds at all for that.

    Best of luck to you! I hope you resolve your situation soon and can forget about it while enjoying spring!
    DX - 5/2010 Grade 1, Stage 4 fNHL - w/spleen and 47% bone marrow involvement
    TX - 6/2010-12/2010: SWOG S0801- R-CHOP + Bexxar + Rituxan (4 yrs/quarterly)
    Restaged (post Bexxar) - PCR-Neg/NED :2/2011
    Rituxan maintenance ended 3/2015
    1/2018: Remission continues (>7 years) Down to one checkup/year!


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