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11 yr old son with necrotic lymph node
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11 yr old son with necrotic lymph node

My 11 yr has three enlarged lymph nodes... one behind his ear, back of his neck and one on the back of his head.  The surgeon just biopsied the one behind his ear and said it was dead, which I've now learned the correct terminology for is necrotic.  I understand necrotic lymph node means it was cut off from blood supply by either infection or disease.  However- I'm going crazy with worry for the next two weeks for the results.  My son has had no fever, no night sweats, no symptoms what so ever- not even  a little cold in over 4 months.  These appeared over 8 weeks ago and have only grown larger- not reduced.  

Is there any chance this is nothing?  Can some minor illness not presenting symptoms cause the lymph node to grow so rapidly and thus be cut off from blood flow?  I'm more terrified and blowing things up in my head because my mother died of lymphoma- Non Hodgkins.  Any encouraging news- or any news at all that could narrow it down good or bad?  
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623944_tn?1244039090
I wish I had a better answer for you. I don't know a lot about necrotic lymph nodes, but what I could find is that the swelling, and enlarging could be from the necrosis... it can't filter like it is supposed to.
Have they done any scans, labs or anything to rule out infections and the like? It's also possible there is some type of blockage occuring in that particular lymph channel which is what caused the necrosis in the first place.

I'm not a doctor, and I won't lie and say there is absolutely no chance it's lymphoma, but there is another possible cause that I could find. I do know that NHL is not considered a hereditary cancer although if a first degree relative, such as parent, child or sibling has NHL, there is a slight increase in the risk of developing NHL. Your mother would be second degree relative to your son so he has no increased risk based off that fact.

As for the two week wait, did they say why so long? Or is that when your next appointment is? You can call the doctors office in a few days and ask if they have the results in. I'm suprised they didn't have pathology there to give a first impression. As far as I know, that's standard procedure.

Please keep us posted. And if you need more answers, or just need to talk it out while you wait, we're here.

Hugs,
DNMH
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Avatar_f_tn
The only tests they've done are the surgery to remove it and sent it out for biopsy.  They did tell me that the hospital results should be 3 days, but if they can't find anything it would be sent to the university lab for further testing because the hospital doesn't have all of the dyes needed for extended testing.  I think I am going to call themt today... tomorrow will be one week already and I'm simply driving myself crazy with fear and worry.  Thank you, it does help to know that it's not increased risk from my mother!  And the fact that it could be a blockage... at least I have some hopes now.

Thanks and I'll keep you posted!
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Avatar_f_tn
OH- and my understanding from when my mother had the first biopsy was that of yours...that they should have an educated guess or 'first impression' at the time of removal.  I think that is why I'm so worried- if it looked normal, they would have said so, if it did not- maybe they don't provide the 'bad opinions' without further testing and proof to protect themselves. ????

Thanks again- and I've left a message with the surgeons office and am now waiting for a call back!
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623944_tn?1244039090
"if it looked normal, they would have said so, if it did not- maybe they don't provide the 'bad opinions' without further testing and proof to protect themselves. ????"

Unless they just didn't have a qualified pathologist available at the time...
Don't let it worry you that they didn't give an answer just yet.

Please let me know how things develop.
You're in my thoughts!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again.  Talked to the surgeons office- 2 things... one, "they don't have the results back but it is not uncommon in situations like this that they get a second opinion."  Is a second opinion on a biopsy normal?  Also- they said they will not reveal test results over the phone, so I will have to wait until his next appt.... which is this friday.  I thought that odd as well, I've been given lab results back over the phone.  Worst case they've told me they came back abnormal and would like to have a follow up appt to discuss further...and they set the appt up right away.  So, i think i've just got to stop- I'm making myself sick over this.  But I don't want to walk in there on friday and not be prepared for the possibility of bad news either.  waiting is bad, but I keep telling myself, maybe this is the worst part of it...the waiting and we will find out everything is completely normal.  Thank you for your thoughts and your helpful information.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dr called today!  It is non cancerous!!  They believe it is toxoplasmosis, but will confirm it with blood tests.  This didn't come up in any discussions with him as a possibility, nor in any searches.  He said it was odd that three lymph nodes became enlarged and that they became necrotic, but that it is definitely an infection of some sorts and the proper meds will treat it!  

Thank you so much for your support in my time of need!  
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208737_tn?1267677426
I was just reading your story, and i am so happy that everything has turned out ok..
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623944_tn?1244039090
What a relief! I'm so happy for you that it turned out not cancerous!
Thank you for keeping me informed.
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