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Scared to Death
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Scared to Death

Scared to tears ...I'm a 50-year-old healthy male that's waiting on the results on my PET scan after a CT scan showed enlarged lymph nodes in my back. My PCP told me not to panic as the PET scan can be used as a test to eliminate things as well as confirm. MY PCP also reminded of a 2.5 month viral illness in 2004 in which I had night sweats, but no fever, loss of appetite, swollen glands, or weight loss. He said that my lymph nodes could have become enlarged at that time
and never returned to normal size.

Let me back up a few weeks - I had pain in the center of my chest/right shoulder blade and heartburn/belching ... went to a GI surgeon and she ordered a gall bladder ultrasound. After the test, she phoned and said my gallbladder was fine. So onto the CT scan ... after the CT scan, the GI asked the radiologist to call me about the enlarged lymph nodes in my middle back.

He did and matter-of-factly suggested lyphoma to be the cause and told me not to worry as most people survive lymhomas.  He also referredme to an oncologist whom I saw day before yesterday. The oncologist drew blood and my CBC was totally normal.  He also stated that swollen lymph nodes in the back could be other things besides lyphoma and said that even if it was lyphoma, it was treatable.  I have had none of the typical symptoms that go along with lymphoma, i.e. night sweats, fever, loss of weight, etc.  The oncologist also stated that he did not think I had cancer, but wanted me to continue with the PET scan as well. The oncologist also set me up with a GI who is going to do an endoscopy Tuesday.  I met with the GI who also said that based on my CBC, he would not suspect cancer.

I really need some encouragement here and have some questions ...

1) How often does one get lyphoma displaying no symptoms at all ?
2) If it turns out to be lyphoma, can it be treated and how ?
3) Will be life be normal during and after the treatments ?
4) Are benign tumors possible in lymph nodes ?
5) I have continued to belch - could a swollen lymph node be causing that ?

Any support appreciated and your stories welcome !!

Scared to Tears
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You should try to relax since you are still in the process of knowing what you have.  
You mentioned that your CT scan showed enlarged lymph nodes in your middle back. Where exactly is the location?  Are the lymph nodes located superficially or within the chest/abdominal cavity?
For your first question, there are certain lymphomas that do not produce that much symptoms.  Sometimes, the initial manifestation could be a single, enlarged, painless lymph node.  However, with this manifestation, other causes need to be ruled out also.
Secondly, lymphomas can be treated.  Depending on the type and stage, lymphomas are responsive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.  There are so many advances in the treatment of lymphomas, backed-up by clinical trials.
Third, you can have a normal life during and after treatment.  This is also dependent on the person, how one treats his condition.  Staying positive at all times helps a lot.
Fourth, not all enlarged lymph nodes are caused by malignancy.  Infection can also present with an enlarged lymph nodes.  Even with resolution of infection, the lymph nodes can persist.
Lastly, significantly enlarged lymph nodes located within the abdominal cavity, especially if near the stomach can produce symptoms of vomiting.
It would be best to wait for the result of your endoscopy and PET scan.
Stop worrying.  It will not do you any good. Relax and hope for the best.
Please feel free to post your updates.
Good luck.
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