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worried about lymph node
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worried about lymph node

Hi Doctor

I am from New Zealand and I am a 29 year old male. I am worried about a single palpable lymph node in my neck. It came during a cold/sore throat almost four weeks ago. The cold has subsequently finished but I am left with a swollen node on the right side of my neck just under my jaw line. The back of my neck has also been stiff which may indicate that there are raised nodes there also.. I don't have any noticeable nodes anywhere else on my body.

I got myself tested for hiv shortly after the start of the cold as I had one slightly risky experience in mid December. The result was negative. The doctors on the hiv forum said a three month test is conclusive and so does my family doctor.

My doctor ran some tests for glandular fever and also to check for possible cancers. The tests came back fine. I am unsure whether I should be worried about this. How long does it usually take for symptoms to resolve. I saw the doctor yesterday and she didn't seem overly worried.
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476634_tn?1207935033
Hi there,
It is likely that your enlarged nodes are due to your recent infection, because of the timing.  They usually will decrease in size, though, within a few weeks.  Infection is by far a more common cause, but if nodes are remaining enlarged, certain cancers should be considered (eg lymphoma).  Malignant nodes are more commonly fixed (not mobile) and hard.  They are usually painless.  Your doctor may be unconcerned because she is able to examine them and they seem fine, which is a positive sign.  If they are still not going down in a couple of weeks, ask about whether she thinks a biopsy is warranted (bloodwork may not pick up something like lymphoma).

Good luck.  Hope you are feeling better soon.

JMK MD
3 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh just to add to the original post. I had galndualar fever 10 years ago and the doctor was testing to see if it had returned. I wonder if maybe glandular fever makes nodes more prominent when other ilnesses crop up also.
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Avatar_m_tn
Tahnk you very much for your answer. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer what probably seem like paranoid questions.

I got my cold on about the 17th of March. It was pretty nasty for a couple of days and was accompanied by a sore throat on the first day. On March 20th, I noticed a swollen node under my jaw on the right side of my neck. My cold cleared up around the 26th of March. I was fatigued however and was a bit achey (achy). I still have a raised gland in my neck but all other symptoms have abated. I was wondering if it is normal for glands to take a while to recede after illness or if it happens really quickly??

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