Biopsy results, swollen lymph node under ear, depressed - help please

Posted , 8 users are following.

I'm a 34 yr old female, healthy, work out 4-5 days a week and have no symptoms of lymphoma. I have had an enlarged lymph node (1.5cm), relatively small, size of a small pea for around 6-7 months. I've also had this prolonged head cold - really minor, but I'm always slightly congested in the nose and have mucus on my throat that causes me to cough. I'm also a papillary thyroid cancer suvivor (15 yrs next year), and am paranoid about any types of lumps that I find.

So I went to the doctor 2 days ago, and the visit was brief and he emphasized all my fears and here I am feeling completely hopeless as I am reliving my first cancer diagnosis. He didn't question my head cold at all, said that my lump was not a lymph node and either a sebaceous cyst or a tumor on the parotid gland or a lymph node within the paratoid gland. I had a biopsy - he took 4 samples, he called me yesterday and said it is an aggravated lymph node, he found no cancer cells, with lymphoma they look for duplicative white blood cells which he did not find and he found a mix which is normal.

He does say this does not rule out low grade lymphoma (I get it, my first thyroid cancer diagnosis they found nothing with a biopsy and then found cancer after removal). But he wants to give me antibiotics and steroids 9I heard steroids are not good because they cause anything to shrink and cover the problem?) to see if it will shrink. Hsaid to come back in 4 weeks, if it hasn't he will remove it and do a pathology.

Part of me is freaking out and going through the worst case scenario. The other part of me is saying, but what about your cold? It's not a huge growth, why is he telling me it could be lymphoma? All of this is going on while in a month I am supposed to go through IVF, I am about to get engaged, I have all of these future plans happening and the c-word is making me fall into this deep paranoid depression right before the holidays.

If anyone has some words of wisdom, experience to share, advice - I would greatly apperciate it.

Cheers,

Julia

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Where is your lump in the parotid gland and what does it feel like? I currently have a lump in there that doctors aren't concerned about, I also have 2 swollen lymph nodes that I've had for 6 months. I've had so many blood tests and have a ultra sound on the 30th. To ease my mind in the doctors own words.

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    • Posted

      It's right underneath my ear lobe and feels like it's on top of my jaw bone. It's kind of squishy, rubbery, not hard like a nut/rock. When I had a thyroid nodule it was very hard like an adam's apple, and this is much softer.

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    • Posted

      My lump is under my ear on my jaw. When I press on it, it squishes under my finger until I feel nothing but when I lift my finger back up it springs back. I have no clue what it is and I don't have one on the other side. I'm petrified, I also have swollen nodes for the past 6 months so I'm thinking the worse.

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    • Posted

      If it's that squishy I wouldn't be concerned about it either, guidance says if it's rubbery or hard you should be but if you feel nothing then that sounds normal.. but I'm not a doctor.

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  • Posted

    I don't know anything because I'm not a doctor. But the thing is I believe you are experimenting a hard anxiety and I can tell it by the way you wrote all. I have anxiety too because I have enlarged lymph nodes since 3 years with no diagnosis. 2 doctors said it's because I'm skinny. All my blood tests are fine. But now I came to another specialist and he told me to do an ecography of my neck.

    I'm afraid because I read a lot of terrible forums that say that I have lymphoma, that lymphoma doesn't have sympthoms. I'm veeeery afraid. But I think even if they tell me I have something malign after my tests, at least my anxiety will stop, because I never had a diagnosis.

    Also if you think you have lymphoma (which I don't believe), everything will be fine, lymphoma is the most curable cancer, and mostly in first 2 stages. I read it's about 80-95%.

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    • Posted

      Yes I'm definitely anxious right now! I realize I am overreacting without having more informaton, but I am also trying to be patient with myself as it's probabaly normal to experience residual feelings after being diagnosed with cancer years ago. I agree with you, the internet is rarely ever helpful (except support forums are nice to at least vent, find comfort with others who are experiencing the same), where googling often leads you to reading information about the worst case scenario. I am trying to remember that ~5% tend to be cancerous, I am healthy, I am being proactive and doing all that I can do. And if it is the worst case scenario, I will figure it out and will keep moving forward. But I do hope you're right about survival rates - it's hard to find information on stage 1/2 for ages under 40 it seems since being diagnosed younger is more rare. The 5-10 yr survival rates don't give me much comfort. But I assume 10 yr means recession, which means basically cured with monitoring ... which is what I do anyway with my thyroid smile

      I'm sorry to hear you are going thruogh something similar, have you asked them to remove it? Biopsies I find to be not helpful. I am going to get a second opinion because my doctor is one of those too busy/rushed docs who throws a bunch of medical terms at you and walks away and never seems to do a thorough checkup. But if the second opnion aligns with the first, I am going to try to expedite a removal of the node.

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  • Posted

    Did you ever get a second opinion? What were your results. I have a swollen lymph node under my ear lobe near my jaw bone. My ear piercing was infected but its not now and I am sooooo worried. Please respond. 
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  • Posted

    Hi.. I wanted to share my story with you and hopefully it helps. I'm 40 and I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at 26. I had a thyroidectomy and radioactive treatment. I had a swollen lymph node a couple years ago, located under my ear as well and I kept going to the Drs (freaking out like you). Long story short, they went in to remove it and they had to remove some of my savilary glands due to the radioactive treatments I had. I'm not sure if you have pain in your face, neck, shoulder area but if so, you may want to look into it. The radioactive treatments damages your savilary glands. I hope all goes well with you. If you have any questions my email is

    Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

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  • Posted

    Hi Julia. Sorry to hear about your condition. How did it work out? I'm interested because this morning I woke up with swollen (glands, I guess), under both ears, near the back of my jawbone, after a few days of slight pain there. I didn't think it's lymph nodes as I thought (in that area), they were only under the jaw and behind the ears. Maybe I'm wrong. I have no other symptoms although I have had a cough / phlegm problem for many years, and have to clear my throat all the time. Please advise. Thanks, Ken 

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    • Posted

      Hello, how are you?

      If you still have the lump don't worry. It's just fat under the skin.

      It happened to me. I went to my doctor and a specialist and of course they told me i had to have biopsy just to make sure everything was ok. I didn't want to go because i knew it was nothing serious even though hey scared the hell out of me.

      i started putting aloe vera plant overnight every single day until it popped and the fat came out by itself. Or you can even put warm cloth for half an hour every day for a month or so and it will disappear.

       

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  • Posted

    hi Julia,

    do you still have the lump?

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