Chances of Lympoma? 20yr old female. Longish story below. please read :(

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Hello and first I want to thank you for reading this! Thank you thank you! I know and understand you can't get definitive answers on the Internet, I'm just seeing what others have to say based on their experiences and knowledge. Okay so I am a 20 year old female. About 2-3ish years ago I noticed a bump on the right side of my neck and I'm almost 100% sure it is a lymph node. You push in under my right side of my jaw to feel it and I'm pretty sure either my jugular vein or an artery is behind it because I can feel a pulse. So, I've known about that for a couple years now but I stupidly ignored it because I didn't want to deal with it and was naive and didn't think it was anything serious. I really don't think it has grown. It feels about the size of an almond or small olive and is a little hard. I don't know if it's rock hard or not but it's definitely not soft. No classical "B symptoms" Ive had weight loss but I strongly believe it is because this summer I worked two very active jobs. Some days I worked 17 hours and only really had time to eat once a day. I was 150 now I'm 127. Increased calorie burn and decreased calorie consumption = weight loss. I am 20 and 5"1 and was overweight anyways. I've been anxious lately about all this because I've noticed other nodes in my neck. Not sure if weight loss in my neck made them more apparent or if they were from an infection and never went down. None of them are as big or as hard as the one near the jugular vein but it has been two ish months and they haven't gone away. I have one on the left cervical chain size 1-1.5cm at the biggest. On the right cervical chain more further down I have 3 or 4 that I can feel that are close together. They are small. I don't know if they are "matted" because I'm not a professional. I have two on the back of my neck bilateral however the left one is twice the size of the right one. I have random painful thyroid swellings (I think they are thyroid swellings) and noticed I have a node on either side of my thyroid. I am a smoker and get a decent amount of sinus and throat problems. I don't have the best dental hygiene. I have had really nasty tonsil infections on the right side of my neck near the big node that I'm the most worried about. I do have a bump on my right tonsil that has been there for 4+ years and has never grown. Only grows when a bad infection gets in my tonsil then it goes back down in size. I finally cracked down and went to the health center of my university because I couldn't take the anxiety anymore. not thrilled with the doctor there but she set me up for an ultrasound appointment. I had to be the one to request a CBC, results came back normal however I have read that doesn't always mean anything. I've also read that an ultrasound cannot always tell you a whole lot. At this point all I want is an excisional biopsy. I don't want to even mess with a FNA biopsy because I have read all the inconsistencies with those. I'm really just venting here Beacuse nobody around me really knows anything. I'm trying to stay positive but feel like something is not right. I've read about lymphoma, ( I am aware of slow growing indolent lymphomas) head and neck cancer, tonsil cancer, thyroid cancer, sarcoidosis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis (I have polycystic ovarian syndrome), Graves' disease, hyperthyroidism and can't tell which one is more likely for my symptoms. I really just have enlarged nodes and random painful thyroid swellings that will last about 3-5 days. Thanks for reading sorry for such a long post I've just been super anxious and depressed lately.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah. I found a lump behind my left ear, GP referred me to hospital, biopsy done, DLBCL (diffuse large B cell lymphoma). 3 rounds of R-chop chemotherapy, 17 days radiotherapy, finished treatment a year ago. Now I'm sitting in the hospital waiting for an MRI because they found a small tumour (meningioma) during a routine scan! I understand your worry totally. Go back to your doctor and ask for a surgical biopsy, be assertive. If a refusal is made either ask for a second opinion or find another doctor. Alternatively, if all the above fail, go to your nearest A&E and let them decide. Keep in touch and let me know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for replying it means alot that people are on this website offering their support.  Im not trying to be negative when I say this but I have a good feeling in my heart that this is lymphoma because I feel like I was wrong when I said that the original lymph node near my jugular hasnt grown when indeed I feel like it has now that I really have felt around that node. Sometimes it likes to hide between some tissues so I have to scoop it out of there. i have multiple palpable lymph nodes most of which are firm and larger than a kidney bean.  I know now that my chances are pretty  good that I have some kind of cancer beacuse I have done my research and I know from my CBC that I dont have an infection and they havent gone away. Im facing reality here.  I just want to know how you cope with it. I'm more concerned for my family and as selfish as this sounds I'm praying for hodgkins because I have heard there are good cure rates. I feel awful saying that because it is me wanting the easy way out of this when so many others like yourself are dealing with so much. how do you cope, how do you look your family in the eye knowing you are going to cause them grief. I dont even care what happens to me, I just want my family to be okay. 

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    • Posted

      Oh Sarah, I know exactly how you feel. I look after my 12 year old granddaughter who is autistic so my daughter and husband can work, and I have a very close bond with her brother who is 15. The whole family rely on me and my biggest fear is that I won't be there for them. Having said that, what you will find is, that as time goes by the fear disappears into the background and practicalities takes its place. It is 2016 and cancer treatment has never been so effective. The same can be said for brain tumour treatments. So now is a good time. If it is lymphoma, and it may well not be, treatment, since the discovery of rituximab, is gold standard. When I had chemotherapy it was like belonging to a club where we laughed so much you couldn't possibly feel depressed! I actually started to look forward to it! An elderly lady who was on her last treatment for her second bout of cancer told me how much she was going to miss it! Lol. A lot of people worry about side effects of chemo and everybody is different, some people have them and some don't. But if you do now days these are kept well under control with medication. Do don't be afraid, it's all good. Get that biopsy done and whatever the result I'm sure you'll be fine. The one thing I will say is be totally honest with your friends and family, they need to know everything and they can support you. Good luck and keep in touch. x

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  • Posted

    Nobody can really tell you it IS or it is NOT a lymphoma.  It could be cysts . . it could be enlarged lymph nodes, it could be all connected to those tonsil infections . . .or maybe not.  . . .With regard to not having other symptoms, my husband's only symptoms when he was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, grade 2, was some weight loss a couple of months before.  No night sweats, NO lumps anywhere that could be felt.  It was found randomly during an ultrasound for heart trouble, and had been missed by a kidney specialist in spite of having a CAT scan . . . Probably the most definitive test is a PET which would show any cancer of any type, but not easy to get that done unless a doctor has a good reason to suspect it.  Here in Spain, a PET would cost you about 800 euros . . .Not sure where you are . . . .Hope it turns out to be nothing serious, and very probably it will.  .  

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    • Posted

      I would like to add that I know very little about follicular cancer. I have had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I now have a meningioma (brain tumour) for which I am awaiting a decision to be made about treatment. So I only have expertise in the field of DLBCL under the NHS in England.
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    • Posted

      I hope that you soon get good treatment for the meningioma.  i believe your type of lymphoma is perhaps more difficult to treat than a follicular, although in my husband's c was an agt from the indolenta variety.  so many tytpes of lymphoma, and biopsy is obviously he way to nail down exactly which cells are a problem, and therefore which treatment is the most effective. reinaldo received treatment with rituximab (rituxan) for nearly two years after he was cured, and it seems to have worked well so far, but probably a DLBCL is a totally different matter.  Good luck with your treatment. 

       

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    • Posted

      Thank you for that. I had rituximab as part of my chemotherapy, R-chop, an amazing new drug that has turned cancer treatment around. I'm now hoping to be offered Gamma Knife surgery for my brain tumour (meningioma) which is also a treatment that has revolutionised the treatment of brain tumours of different types. I will find out in November.

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  • Posted

    Contrary to that which Martinarvelo has posted you can be told whether it is or isn't lymphoma. This is why a surgical biopsy is undertaken. The biopsy shows whether there are malignant cells present. If there are scans are carried out and possibly bone aspiration. Get yourself back to the doctor as I said in my previous post. Yes, it could well be something totally unconnected to cancer, but there is always that chance that it is, and if it's caught early you stand a good chance of recovery.

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    • Posted

      Joy it seems that I did not ecxplain myself too well.  Of course I did not mean that she could not be told whether it was lymphoma or not by a qualified doctor following the proper tests. What I meant was that nobody on the basis of what she has said in her question could tell her.  OK, I was not specific enough, for which I apologise . I did however, say that the most definitive =test was PET, which would, of course, show without any shadow of a doubt that there was a form of cancer, and a biopsy  . . .perhaps also a bone marrow test . . would confirm whether it was lymphoma, and the type and grade of lymphoma.  sorry I was not more specific. I didn't really think anyone would think I meant that lymphoma was not able to be diagnosed!

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    • Posted

      A biopsy is performed first, followed by a CT scan with dye, followed by a PET scan and bone marrow aspiration. An MRI may also be used. The biopsy is to determine if there are cancer cells, the CT scan to see if it is in the bone, the PET scan to show where the cancer is and the size of any tumours and the aspiration to see if it has progressed to the marrow. I must admit that I did think that it was rather foolish to say that a definitive diagnosis could not be given, or maybe just with a PET scan, other tests or a biopsy. The biopsy has to be done first, the other tests will not be carried out til after cancer has been confirmed.
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    • Posted

      Probably depends on the specialist though . . .in my husband's case, the cat scan came first, followed by the  PET and then the biopsy,  Actually, it was an ultrasound which started the investigations, and as my husband had no exposed swollen lymph glands, a biopsy was impossible without first doing the PET  to pin down where they could extract tissue to do the biopsy.  Wonderful hospital, all done with absolutely no pain.   . . . . worth every euro spent on it. 

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    • Posted

      When you come to Spain as a resident (being British) you are obliged to take out private medical insurance (unless you are a pensioner) . . . and I'm so glad we did now that Brexit may mean we lose our right to national health service over here!  The public health service is very good here too . . .but of course, there are some waiting lists unfortunately . . . .

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  • Posted

    Dear Sarah, Joy has drawn my attention to the fact that my reply to you was not specific enough, and could lead to misunderstanding. I did not of course, mean to say that nobody could diagnose your condition or tell you if it was lymphoma, but omitted the words "on this forum'  I meant that nobody on the basis of your post on this forum could diagnose it, and that you are quite right to think that a biopsy is your best course to follow, and perhaps a PET if that is not definitive.  I am sorry if you understood me to mean that lymphoma cannot be diagnosed! Nothing further from the truth of course. My husband's grade 2 follicular lymphoma was accurately diagnosed, and cured . . it was over nine years ago, and he is fit and well, so please don't be too concerned  even if it is diagnosed as lymphoma. 

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