I've had an approx 1/2" lump so close to my vertebra at C-7, I thought it was the vertebra. (never knew there were lymph nodes there!) It's been there quite a while. It is firm and rubbery and never bothered me. I am rarely sick & cannot even remember the last time I had a cold or flu. Then the other day, my neck was very stiff & painful and I was unable to move it up/down or left/right. Saw a chiro who told me it was swollen lymph node. And, in fact, it appears there are 2 more close to it, also firm/rubbery feeling. The major one is about 1/2" diam; the others approx 1/3". I have terrible night sweats, but that could be menopausal? I don't feel like eating, only snacking when very hungry and do not have much energy, have lost about 13 pounds in 3 months. I am a 60 y.o. woman. And, unfortunately, have no insurance. Question is: do these symptoms sound serious enough to be seen? Bigger question: given that I have to pay cash & am on a fixed income - which diagnostic procedure will rule out lymphoma right away because I cannot afford to pay for a bunch of other tests? I want to just "cut to the chase". Thank you.
Hello and welcome. I have never heard of lymph nodes swelling around the spine, but I suppose they could be anywhere. We have thousands of lymph nodes throughout the body. The most common places for lymph nodes to swell caused by lymphoma is the neck, collar bone and groin area.
To answer your question about if the symptoms sound serious enough to get checked out...bot to scare you but yes, I think you really should. What usually happens with lymphoma is the lymph nodes swell and then when the lymphoma has progressed other symptoms (such as low grade fevers, night sweats, weight loss and sometimes itching) will occur.
To answer your bigger question about what diagnositic proceedure to do right away and skipping other tests...the easy answer is a lymph node biopsy (excisional, not just a punch biopsy). This usually involves some form of anesthesia and is considered a surgical proceedure. However, many doctors don't view an excisional biopsy as a simple, no risk proceedure and will often recommend other less invasive tests first such as blood tests and scans, even though these tests are not as diagnostic as a biopsy. If you go see a doctor you could request a biopsy and explain your insurance situation. With your permission, they may be able to skip the other tests. I will warn you though...cancer is extremely expensive to treat and if you are diagnosed before you get insurance, you take the chance of not being able to get on any insurance due to having a pre-existing condition. You might check into your local DSHS office about getting on insurance before seeing a doctor.
Good luck and please keep us posted on your situation.
Thank you for your prompt and good reply. I tend to trust this chiro that these are swollen lymph nodes; however...another opinion is certainly waranted! I wonder what these lumps could be otherwise?
I was told about 10 yers ago I had arthritis in my neck: it makes a scrunching sound when I turn it & if I do turn it, e.g., for exercise, I will get a bad headache. May be related?
Not sure that pre-existings are a factor with the new Aff Care Act, but will research before going to doc appt! Daggone, am in that zone of being poor, but not poo!r enough for $ assistance, lol. No Medicare until 62.
Thx again, took the edge off! Will keep you posted, but could be a while! Hugs!
I don't think arthritis causes swollen nodes...but I'm not sure on that. Another option might be that you once had an infection that caused those nodes to swell, and sometimes the nodes don't completely go back down to size even after the infection is gone. I've also heard of people getting fatty deposits on their backs. Possibly this is what it is. Either way, I do think it would be best to have a doctor take a look.
Unfortunately there are a lot of people in your shoes when it comes to health insurance. After going through lymphoma treatment myself, I can't imagine not having insurance. One drug I had to have cost $16,000 per dose (before insurance paid). I had 12 doses.
Good luck and I'll watch for your update after you see a doctor.
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