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Swollen lymph node - cancer ?

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Hello everyone, my name is Evaldas, and I'm from Lithuania.
I have a swollen lymphnode on my neck (noticed it on 24th of December), and I just feel it's cancer, because like two months before noticing I started having thoughts about cancer, like what would I do and etc. So I went to the doctor, and he said that it might be from a cold (I'm not sure I had one, maybe in the middle of December I noticed a little white dot in my throat (like a pus) and my throat felt very dry those days, of course I didn't say "I know I have cancer, send me to get a biopsy!", but anyways, he suggested to have my blood tested, also a thyroid test (hormone, TSH), I went to get my results yesterday and the doctor was like "oh your test results got lost, but I've definitely seen them, and they were good, no need to be concerned", so I left and started thinking ok if it's not the thyroid, what if it's something with my larynx, or whatever, swollen lymphnodes can indicate not just thryoid cancer, right? By the way these days I started having headaches in the evenigns, and I have hoarse throat for a very long time... So what do I do? Do I keep looking, or should I forget it?
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replied February 9th, 2009
Experienced User
Greetings Evaldas,
I'm so sorry to hear your doctor lost your lab reports.
If I were you, I would go to another doctor, and if you can't see another doctor, I would demand that the doctor re-do the tests so you can ask for a copy of the report. the report is yours for the asking. I have all my reports in a file I made for myself. This way all I have to do is bring the file with me when I see any new doctors.

Swollen lymph nodes can be swollen for many reasons. They do their job by filtering out all the bacteria and viruses. You mentioned you had a slight cold and trouble with your throat back in December. That could be why you have a swollen gland.

The only definitive way to find out of a lymph node is cancerous is to have it biopsied. The best way is to have the entire node removed and tested. Some doctors suggest having a less evasive form of biopsy such as a fine needle biopsy, but this procedure is not 100% accurate.
It can miss a cancerous spot in the node. It only tests what ever the needle pulled out of the node. I think they call it an excisional biopsy when they take out the entire lump?
you can google it to find out.

Also, some people who have forms of lymphoma's
don't always have symptoms. they're called B symptoms.

My best suggestion would be for you to NOT forget about the lost report and go see another doctor. Sometimes our gut instincts are correct. But if we worry a lot about our health, our hunch's might not always be right.

I wish you the best outcome on your health problem.
usually a dr. will first prescribe an antibiotic as first course treatment for an enlarged lymphnode. Then they make you come back to see if it went away. IF it didn't go away, then they refer you to either an ENT surgeon and have them do a biopsy.

Good Luck,


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replied February 13th, 2009
You can ask your doctor to explain the results of your lab exams. Or see another doctor. Lymph nodes filter the body from bacteria and viruses. Even if you have colds, your lymph nodes may be swollen. If you are not satisfied with the results of your 2nd exam and you are still convinced that you have cancer, you may consult an oncologist near your area to confirm this. Best wishes..
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replied July 3rd, 2009
Hello! Based on what you've said, I think you need an antibiotic that is prescribed by your doctor. I fyou're not sure of the first result of your med test then you could ask another opinion or advice to a physician near your area. Hope this helps. . .

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replied October 24th, 2009
Dear Evaldas
Though this question is posted for long I did not see any expert opinion so thought to just reassure you that there are varieties of cause of swollen lymph nodes( called lymphadenopathy) as they are gateway for filtering infectious and foreign pathogens.
Lymphadenopathy can occur in just one area of the body, such as the neck, or it may be generalized, with lymph node enlargement in several areas. The cervical lymph nodes found in the neck are the most common site of lymphadenopathy.
Though swollen lymph nodes are also seen is some cancerous lesions the commonest cause may be upper respiratory infection eg sore throat.
Because you have been suffering sore throat the first step should be a thorough examination by an ENT (Ear,Nose and Throat)expert who by physical and other examination can tell you whether you are likely suffering from any URTI related cause etc.
The size and location of the nodes, how long ago the swelling began, and the presence of pain are helpful in determining the cause. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for lymphadenopathy may include a lymph node biopsy in which a sample of tissue is removed from the lymph node and examined under a microscope. Further tests may be necessary for specific diseases or infections that may be related to the lymphadenopathy.
Of course in your case as your other test result is lost(that are told to be normal) if that did not include biopsy of the lymph node done that will answer your worry in best possible way.
thanks from Dr M Chowhan
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replied February 19th, 2012
swollen lymph nodes
swollen lymph nodes under my arm pit and on mt chest and arm after having a double mastectomy from cancer . this is so very painful ..... im seeing a therapist that specializes in swollen lymph nodes . but the pain is so bad , and my chest area has swollen even more ..... should i be worried ?
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