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Chronic painless lymph gland swelling


I have three notable enlarged lymph nodes, all cervical, that have been notable for at least 3 years. They are mobile, non-tender, and rubbery in texture. I saw a physician who ordered two ultrasounds (the second one came back with the nodes the same size, so not growing rapidly) over the span of three months. The largest is about 3 cm in diameter. One is on the left side of my neck, and the other two are bilateral and just below the angle of my jaw.

The physician sent me for a needle biopsy, however it came back inconclusive. I was reassured and sent home.

My question is, I've done some reading which shows that a needle biopsy is not a good diagnostic test for cervical lumps unless they are located in the thyroid. Should I be concerned about them, if they don't seem to be enlarging? Is there a chance its still a malignancy? If not, what could be causing this?

Edit: Sorry, other possibly relevant factors are that I'm female and in my early 20's. I also do not have a family physician, or I would be asking them.
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replied June 28th, 2010
If these, or other, lymph nodes continue to enlarge (particularly if they are painless), then excisional biopsy of one or more of these lymph nodes should be considered to rule-out lymphoma.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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