Painless swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck.

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Hi all, so I'm due for my yearly physical examination tomorrow, and recently I have found two enlarged lymph nodes on my neck and behind my jaw/below the ear. Both are painless, about the size of a small marble and soft and rubbery to the touch. I'm also a 24 year old white male with a history repeated of Epstein-Bar Virus infections (twice). So naturally, reading up on possible causes is making my anxiety go through the roof because I seem to check quite a few of the boxes that put me at further risk; albeit they are only slight elevated risks. In terms of other symptoms, that's hard to pin down because I suffer from depression (remission) and anxiety so fatigue is kind of a common feeling for me. I also can't tell about my appetite because I'm on Wellbutrin and Remeron. 

I am going to ask the doctor about it, I'm just anxious about doing so becuase I don't know how long my lymph nodes have been swollen and if I'm actually experiencing other symptoms. Any advice?

P.S. I'm an American, if that relates to anything, I'm under my parents insurance luckily. 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Thank goodness your parents have insurance to cover you, here in England we have our wonderful NHS so paying for treatment isn't a worry for us. Lymph nodes swell for all sorts of reasons and they tell us when something is wrong. It can be something quite trivial or (as in my case) it can be something more serious. With me it was Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma - diffuse large b cell lymphoma. You must ask your doctor about it, get a biopsy done so you know what you're up against. Let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    G'day Donnyk,

    As you may have guessed I'm from Australia.

    Your symptoms are very similar to mine with presentation, location and feel.

    I got the runaround for 9 months before I changed GP's and finally got biopsies done leading to a positive diagnosis of NHL.

    You can read my story if you wish, by looking up JohnEdna in the Patient Blogs on this site.

    Joy and I both have long histories with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and I join with her in advising you to follow up and get some tests done ASAP.

    Early diagnosis makes for peace of mind.

    Ask questions and if you don't get the answers go for second opinions.

    Do it now.

    Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Hopefully the doctor will be abe to reassure you . sounds as if a good complete blood  test is called for to ensure there is nothing sinister about those lymph nodes.  Fingers crossed there will be no problem, and really nobody can say anything more concrete without the proper tests.
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  • Posted

    I see that Martinarvelo has mentioned a complete blood test. I think I should point out that lymphoma is not diagnosed by a blood test. A blood test will show if there are problems in the body i.e. liver, kidneys, spleen, that could possibly have been caused by the cancer. The cancer itself is not detectable in a blood test. You need a biopsy and possibly a pet scan. My blood tests were all normal before, during and after diagnosis.
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    • Posted

      You are quite right, but you should also remember that a blood test is the usual starting point for investigations.  If there is a problem, for instance, with gamma globulin . . if there is a very low lymphocyte count . . a high LDH count. . then these would also be markers for lymphoma.  Indeed, my husband's blood tests never showed high LDH, and he never had any noticeable englarged lymph glands,  but they did show low lymphocytes, and it was a eco doppler which raised the suspicion when he was having a test for heart trouble.  Then a cat scan, (because at the time there was no PET scan availalble in the Canary Islands) which showed unexplained adenomas, and then eventually a PET which showed the  two lymphoma masses in the peritoneal and abdominal areas, , followed of course, by a biopsy and a bone marrow test.  But the usual thing is to START with a blood test.  One doesn't usually rush in with invasive measures before doing some preliminary tests, which could show all mannner of problems like infections, Lyme disease,  . . who knows what.  

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    • Posted

      Oh, and donnyk has mentioned some other symptoms.  If these included the typical night sweats, loss of weight, possibly even skin problems. . then even more rapid invasive tests would certainly be called for. 

       

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    • Posted

      I can only go by the treatment I received myself. And thank goodness they didn't pussyfoot around with blood tests but got on with it and did the biopsy. Because there was no time wasted I was diagnosed with DLBCL at stage 1a. It could have been so much worse. It seems to me that different areas/countries in the world have different ways of proceeding. We are not doctors on this site and can only speak from our own experiences, as different as they all are.

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    • Posted

      I should add that I never had night sweats weight gain or loss or any other symptoms - just a small rubbery lump behind my left ear. So I am so glad they got that biopsy done straight away.
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    • Posted

      As I said in my first reply, swollen lymph nodes can be caused by many things, some trivial but some or not. Better to be safe than sorry and get that biopsy.
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