I discovered two painless, swollen lymph nodes (larger than a pea) on the back left side of my neck, right below the hairline. A couple of days later, I found two more - this time on the front right side of my neck, down by the collarbone. One is marble-sized. The doctor found no other enlargements elsewhere on my body.
In addition, I have a rash consisting of some very small red bumps on my left upper back/neck, shoulder, and chest. It is somewhat itchy and has a burning feeling. Clothing and the seat belt irritate it.
My doctor tried an antibiotic first; it has been almost a week, and there is no change. Blood tests (white cell count was one of them) turned up normal. I am awaiting the results of a chest x-ray.
I have had periodic drenching night sweats for years, usually right before my period, when I have the heat on and am using the down comforter, or when accompanied by vivid dreams. I have also had periodic deep-under-the-skin itching on the bottom of my foot for years.
I am 38 and female. My paternal grandmother died of lymphoma at age 68. Naturally, I am concerned.
Do my symptoms seem indicative of cancer, since infections appear to be ruled out? My doctor thinks the glands enlarged too quickly for it to be cancer, and he didn't recommend any biopsies. I see him again on Friday. What seems to be the best course of action?
Periodic night sweats especially around your cycle could be nothing more than an estrogen spike. I get them too, have for YEARS!
Just because one antibiotic didn't work, doesn't completely rule out infection. And antibiotics won't touch anything viral. And, if it were an infection, the lymph nodes take time for swelling to reduce. You may not notice any shrinking for some time.
Have the nodes enlarged any since your last appointment? That is the biggest question. Nodes that enlarge after starting antibiotics would be something to watch.
Another thing to consider, lymphoma is generally NOT hereditary, not like stomach cancer, thyroid cancers, breast cancer etc.
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