Anxiety over Swollen Lymph Nodes

Edited , 4 users are following.

Hello everyone,

I am 26 years old and have been dealing with two swollen lymph nodes since August. I went to my primary doctor in late August with the swollen lymph nodes on the left side of my head (one in my neck and one in front of my ear lobe) I was also experiencing some swelling on that side of my face and some ear pain. I was given antibiotics which resolved the issues with the swelling and ear pain. However, the lymph nodes did not go down. I went back in September after having blood work done which showed nothing except slightly elevated cholesterol and a slightly elevated C reactive protein.

My doctor was far more concerned about my cholesterol and getting my weight down (which I totally understand) but I was far more concerned about the lymph nodes and what they could mean. He did not seem to have any concern at all about my lymph nodes. He scheduled me to come back in January to see if I had made any improvement with my weight and cholesterol. Also the C Reactive protein had returned to a normal level. When I went back in January I had lost 15 pounds after changing eating habits and began to exercise which is something that I basically was not doing in prior years. However the lymph nodes were still swollen and he decided that he wanted me to go get an ultrasound on them which I did.

A few weeks later my doctor called me and told me that my lymph nodes were definitely enlarged (duh) and that he would like for me to go have a biopsy done which I have scheduled for March 6th. He still said that he is not very concerned but just wants to confirm that everything is okay. All of my paper work mentions the lymph node on my neck and not the one by my ear which is actually the one that concerns me more (It is larger than the neck one and feels much harder). I asked my doctor why the lymph node by the ear was not mentioned and he said to address it with the surgeon when I go in for the biopsy. This entire situation has been causing me a ton of anxiety over the past 6 months. I have been having difficulty sleeping, thoughts are constantly racing, and I am just feel an overall sense of helplessness. I know I am probably overreacting since no tests have come back with anything yet but I can not stop worrying. I thought I would post on here to maybe have a chance to talk to some people who have had a similar experience.

Nick

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  • Edited

    I would try not to worry and just wait for the biopsy. This forum is full of people who have had swollen lymph nodes and been fine. Sometimes they can take years to go down and sometimes they never do. I really think you will be absolutely fine. Have you considered having a ct scan. That would give you a better idea and rule out anything sinister. I had a swollen node for years and it turned out to be fine.

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    • Posted

      thats odd, see they offered me a Ct but then decided biopsy becayse biopsy is more concrete than Ct, CT is better than ultrasound sure but is not defintive like an excision or nearly definitive like a needle biopsy

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  • Posted

    i wouldnt worry too much, sometimes after a bad infection lymph nodes can become enlarged and never fully recover. They 'scar' as some doctors put it and they will inflame in chains which would explain why you doctor is looking at one further down your neck rather than just under the ear. you probably have a larger or more concerning one deeper down you cant feel. Like the other poster mentioned many people have had this issue and assumed the worst. a little over a year ago i had a bad chest cold that left 8 lymph nodes enlarged that are palpable and many more deeper in i couldnt feel. I had a needle biopsy which was fine and multiple Ultrasounds over the course of the last year and three months, no growth and some got a little smaller even. i was told by three ENT's and a blood cancer specialist that even a slow growing cancer would have caused growth by now and not to worry. I still worried but finding this forum helped, you will see tons of people comment theyve had nodes enlarge and stay that way and nothing bad ever came of them. It seems a relatively common experience and most people with it probably just dont focus on it enough to search out a forum so I would try to relax.

    is your biopsy needle or excision?

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  • Posted

    Completely agree. You could always have a ct to rule out cancer that is growing. To give you complete piece of mind.

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    • Posted

      if an ultrasound has already been done it may be just as useful just to do follow up ultrasounds, they can actually compare node sizes to past images and video etc

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    • Posted

      That's very true but if a patient is very anxious it's often a good idea to have a ct scan as it will give a better idea if there is any cancer. That said a clear biopsy is very reassuring.

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