Persistent swelling of cervical lymph nodes, please please help

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Hi all, 

I could really use some advice. I noticed some swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck last summer, including one (submental, I think) under my chin which is a really odd shape...long and thin, not bean shaped at all. I saw an ENT in November who chalked them up to sinus issues (I have a post nasal drip) and told me to flush my sinuses twice a day for a year and come back to him if I was still having issues. 

When the issue persisted, however, I pushed my GP for a referral to haematology and they sent me for a CT and some blood tests. The blood tests are mainly virology so will take weeks to come back so my next appointment, where I’ll get the results of the CT and the tests, isn’t til mid March. The wait is agonising, so I suppose I’m looking for input on what seems to be going on with me, I’d be grateful for any input at all. 

I have the submental lymph node I mentioned, as well as a small bean shaped one that’s palpable inside my collar bone on the far right, a round one just behind and a few centimetres below my earlobe, and then what feel like two very solid knots either side of my Adam’s Apple (if that’s what it’s called in a woman). These ones are particularly worrisome because I don’t think a doctor has ever noticed them. They’re so solid that I thought they were just a normal part of my anatomy, bone or cartilage or something, but I can’t see on anatomy diagrams what they could possibly be other than very hard lymph nodes. 

I’m 28, female, generally in good health, BMI about 21. I’m one year postpartum and breastfeeding. I have a seronegative autoimmune arthritis which pretty much only causes problems with my right hand. 

I’d really appreciate people’s thoights on this. I’m freaking out as only a mother who’s faced with the prospect of cancer can!

Thanks 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Malory. First of all, because I know that you are worrying about lymphoma, let me tell you that I had Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma over two years ago and am still here, after treatment, to talk to you about it. Let me also tell you that I have a friend, who had stage 4 lymphoma when her twins were about 2, who is healthy and happy ten years on. So, although the prospect of maybe having cancer is incredibly scary it is not cancer that is scary, it is fear of the unknown and what might be. The chances are that your doctor was absolutely right and that your symptoms are sinus connected. And if it does turn out that your worst fears happen to be correct, trust me, it is not the end of the world - or your life. Advances in treatment are made every day and far more people recover from cancer than die from it now, so it's not the horror that it used to be. Don't be afraid, you probably don't have cancer, but if you did - now days you can beat it. Let me know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, it’s so kind of you to take the time to reassure me. I really appreciate it. I will definitely update you when I know more. Thank you again!
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    • Posted

      Please do. I'm here to support you. Sometimes you just feel better for having someone to talk to. Take care.

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  • Posted

    Updating for lovely Joy and anyone with similar symptoms who might find this in future. Spoke to a haematologist today. My consultant is on holiday so one of her colleagues rang me. He said they treat nodes of more than 1cm as significant, and I don’t have any larger than that. This is amazing, as they feel huge to me, but is a big relief. I’m not due to see my consultant again until March 12th when my virology bloods will be back and she will have the full picture, but the doctor I spoke to today didn’t seem to think I’d even need a biopsy. He said they’re probably reactive or related to autoimmune stuff. As I have both autoimmune arthritis and a pretty chronic sinus issue this would make sense, and I’m feeling much more optimistic that one of these much less scary things is responsible for the nodes being swollen. 

    Thanks again Joy for your reassurance the other day, it really was greatly appreciated. I will update you again after I’ve seen the haematologist again. 

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    • Posted

      That's wonderful, I am so pleased for you, you must be feeling so much better. Please keep me updated on your progress, I'm always here to chat, listen or help if I can. Keep smiling x

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