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Swollen Neck Lymph Nodes for 3 Months
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Swollen Neck Lymph Nodes for 3 Months

Hi there. I hope someone can give me some advice. I've had horrible swollen neck for 3 months now. I don't have a sore throat or ear aches. I'm not losing any weight. I've been to the doctors multiply times. I've had many blood tests for mono, viral infections etc...all normal. I've had an ultra sound on my thyroid gland...normal (I have a family history of Thyroid cancer). I'm having another ultra sound on my whole neck in a week. I've taken antibiotics...first 3 days the swelling started to go down but by the time i'd finished the course, the swelling returned...a viral infection doesn't seem to be the answer. I suggested trying a stronger antibiotic, pure penicillin. Hopefully that will work but she doubts it will. I have an appointment with an ENT specialist in Jan...over a month away. I'm really worried about Hodgkins disease....Lymphoma...etc. I'm not sure if my doctor has considered this. Is there anything that I should be asking my doctor to do to test for these diseases...or but getting the US scan and seeing the ENT specialist, is the right course of action? Any advice anyone in the know can give me will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
I'm 28yr old male...used to smoke up until March this year. I'm very healthy...work out at the gym 3 - 5 times a wk, I eat right and don't drink a lot.
Luke.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm feel your sense of worry.  I am in the process of investigating swollen lymph nodes in the neck area too.  I noticed them get larger over a course of 3-4 weeks but it's possible they may have been slightly swollen before that.  I am generally healthy and have no significant symptoms.  My doctor thinks it's due to infected acne.  I'm experiencing severe acne for other reasons that are not relevant to you because your male.  I've done some crazy research and found that it's a possiblity.  I was given keflex over a course of 10 days and it seemed to work but the swelling returned after 3-4 days being off of it.  I'm now taking an antibiotic for my acne.  My doctor didn't even take my blood the first time I went in because she's confident it's due to acne, however she did refer me to get an ultrasound to rule out my thyroid.  I had a follow up after 10 days and found out the enlargement was not in my thyroid and just got my blood test...awaiting on results.  My current diagnosis is submandibular lymphadenopathy.  Based on my ultrasound, there were lymph nodes in the cervical area below my chin that were enlarged and one in particular that had an abnormality.  So now I have an appointment w/ and ENT doc in in 2 weeks for a second opinion and for a possibly biopsy.  You'll get good info from your ultrasound, how many are affected/size and if there are any abnormalities. It will give you a measurement baseline.  But even then, it seems the biopsy is the only way to know the possibilities of other scenarios.  The course of action is right, antibiotics for bacterial infection, blood tests, US, ENT, biopsy w/ ENT doc.  I have a friend who is a physician's assistant and I myself am in healthcare with a  clinical research background.  I probably make my doctor crazy because I ask a lot of questions.  You are in good health, so that's a good sign.  Hodgkins or Lymphoma I think would have some significant symptoms.  Swollen lymph nodes could happen for many other reasons too.  I plan to start calling a couple of times a week to see if there are any cancellations for an earlier ENT appt.  It's worth a try.  Did your doctor say anything about your blood count and when she palpates your neck is it tender?  How many years did you smoke & how frequent?  Did you express your concerns w/ your doctor?  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your reply. I smoked for 10 yrs on and off and at the most had 20 cigarettes a day...so I suppose that's a heavy smoker. My GP knows I'm an ex smoker and I've always been very honest and upfront about my past habbit. All my bloods came back normal. Last blood test I had that took 10 vials of blood...so I'm assuming all tests were done. All they found were old anti-bodies for glandular fever which I had 6 yrs ago. I just called the ENT specialist about putting forward my appointment but unfortunately they're completely booked...but I'll keep trying, thank you for advice there. I live in central London so it always takes a least a month to see any specialist. One other symptom that I didn't mention before was Fatigue. Not all the time. I'll have some days when I just feel absolutely exhausted for no apparent reason and then the following day I'll feel fine.
I'll let you know how I go after the US appointment. Good luck with your ENT...I hope everything turns out well for you and thank you again for you reply.
Luke
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Avatar_n_tn
I also am verry stressed out about my enlarged lymph node in neck for past 5 weeks.
I have one good news for you though. My ENT told me, the node would NEVER shrink even a little bit, if it would be lymphoma, it would only grow, no matter how strong the pills are... Try to check with your dentists, because it seems to be my problem. I did not even know my tooth is infected and they found on X ray the infection came from tooth to bone. Root canal later the node shrank a little.
I think at this point everything is worth the try. Go see your dentist.
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155639_tn?1251742203
Question for you. I have had two lymph nodes in my neck. Both probably less than 1 cm for almost 2 years. They do not get bigger. They seem smaller in the A.M. I am in good health. I run 5-6 days a week and lift weights 2X per week. I feel good. Do you think that by now I would feel badly and have started on with the fatigue that is associated with lymphoma if this was the cause of the nodes?

I worry every day. I am so tired of living my life in fear. Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Debbie    
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Avatar_n_tn
After whole two years you would already know! Even the slowest growing lymphoma would grow in two years. Dont worry yourself. Plus lymph nodes smaller than 1 cm are normal.
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Avatar_f_tn
Swollen lymph nodes can happen for so many reasons.  It sounds like you are in generally good health so consider a visit to the doctor for an annual physical exam for the new year.  It'll give your piece of mind and you won't have to live in fear anymore.  
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Avatar_f_tn
It's such a positive thing that you stopped smoking, are in good health, and your blood tests came back normal.  As for the comment about checking w/ the dentist, I WISH that was my problem, but my teeth are fine.  I would welcome the dental work :) But yes, if you've had major dental work or noticed a tooth bothering your that could also be the culprit.  I hope all goes well with the US & definitely keep me posted.  
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Avatar_m_tn
My teeth and mouth feel completely normal. I've woken up this morning and my throat feels like a war zone. It generally feels like I've got a really bad viral infection that just won't go away. I'm starting to get a cough as well. Going to try some different antibiotics today....fingers crossed!! Thanks to everyone for their comments. I'll keep you all posted on my progress and please let me know how you all get on. I want this to go before christmas! x
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Avatar_m_tn
My symptoms have progressed a little. I now have swollen glands in my collar bone, under my arms and slightly in my groin area. So it appears that the penicillin isn't working...can't say I'm surprised. Anther symptom that I've been having for just a couple of days now is my urine is smelling odd...like when after you eat asparagus...not sure if that's worth mentioning to my doctor quite yet as I'm sure she's got enough other symptoms to deal with.
Because the swelling has moved to other glands in my body is there anything else I should be asking my doctor to test for? I don't understand why nothing showed up in the bloods that were done. It's obvious that there's something causing all this that won't just go away.
Thanks for listening. Luke  
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Avatar_m_tn
Do these two exercises everyday. The idea is to get extra oxygen into the body and so help the body fight. You will start to notice the symptoms going down gradually after 7 days.Continue the exercise once a day after you are fully recovered.
Kapalbhati -(Do it before eating) Push air forcefully out through the nose about once per second. Stomach will itself go in(contract in). The breathing in(through the nose) will happen automatically. Establish a rhythm and do for upto 30 minutes twice a day.(Max 60 min/day) Not for pregnant women. Seriously ill people do it gently.

Anulom Vilom - Deep Breath-in through left nostril keeping right nostril closed
then - Breath-out through right nostril keeping left nostril closed
then -Deep Breath-in through right nostril keeping left nostril closed
then - Breath-out through left nostril keeping right nostril closed
and repeat this cycle for upto 30  minutes twice a day(maximum 60 min/day).
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Avatar_m_tn
Is that a form of yoga? I'm done those breathing exercises at the start of a yoga class before. I'm not sure how that will help me though. I need to get to the bottom of the cause of my symptoms...not mask them. Thanks for the advice...I might take a few yoga classes to help cope. Cheers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Your urine smells weird because of the antibiotics. I have the same thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Enlargement of lymph nodes in these areas may not be specific to lymphoma.  It's got to be accompanied w/ other symptoms; fever, rapid weight loss for no known reason, loss of appetite, excessive night sweats, feeling weak, & etc...I'm sure your doctor tested your blood for everything, esp. since they took so many vials.  The proof of lymphoma would be a lymph node biopsy.  I would keep notes about your general health until the appointment with the ENT & continue w/ it for your follow up w/ your primary doctor...include dates & anything you're body is going through, even if it's a simple headache or muscle pain.  If you experience anything unsual, rate it on a scale of 1-10, you can even use this w/ fatigue and see if there is a pattern.  Not sure if you discovered the new swollen glands yourself or if you came back from a follow up w/ your primary doctor.  But if you discovered it, let your primary doctor know what's going on.  The waiting for appointments is so frustrating.  I feel the same way.   Stay busy, take care of yourself, & do things you enjoy to keep your mind off it.  
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155639_tn?1251742203
I am sorry about all of the concerns especially at the holiday season. I am the one with 2 nodes for almost 2 years. I don't have fatigue but I have had some nights recenlty that I have woken up sweating. We have a pretty new 75% down comforter on our bed and I notice that if I go to sleep with it up around my neck I wake up at midnight sweaty. I am going to try to keep it off my upper body tonight and see what happens. Cireleo, when you mention excessive night sweats is this usually drenching and happening all night long? I am concerned once again.

Thx!

Debbie  
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Avatar_f_tn
The excessive night sweats are described on MedlinePlus as "soaking" and on American Cancer Society as  "drenching night sweats (enough to soak clothing)" but the caveat to these symptoms I mentioned previously is that "it is often related to the presence of more rapidly growing lymphoma cells."  I don't think any of us here are "the worse case scenario" (based on our tests/info our doctors have given us so far).  We can be proactive about our health to get treatment if our worst fears come true and early treatment is a positive thing.  I had a couple of nights when I woke up sweaty and I was worried.  I realized I had 3 layers of blankets on!!  I'm sure part of my worries comes from the fact that there is so much information on the internet.  Have you ever had the nodes looked at by a doctor when you  first noticed them?  If you haven't, I still think the best thing to start off with is a complete physical.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Lymphoma can be without symptoms, apart from the swollen lymph node.
The only way to be sure is to have excisional biopsy, NOT needle biopsy, and full pathology analysis.
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Avatar_n_tn
We all want our enlarged lymph nodes to be benign. We chose the bits of the medical discussion that lead to that conclusion. Maybe they usually are benign.

But any node that stays enlarged beyond two weeks, without obvious associated illness, ought to be investigated further. Even my doctor clung to 'reactive hyperplasia' for nearly a year until I said this can't be right. There must be something systemic going on. I had always been healthy. So an excised node, biopsy, and bingo, stage 3 lymphoma, too late for some good treatments.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have 3 swollen glands in the left side of my neck I have hx of maligant melonma dx 3 years ago my swollen glands have been ther 3 months I have lost weight over 30 lbs without dieting I feel very tired I go for a biopsy in 2 weeks. keely42
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry to hear that I go for a fine needle biopsy do you think i should suggest excised instead
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Avatar_n_tn
For Non Hodgkins Lymphoma (one of abt 30 subtypes of lymphoma), the National Cancer Institute says EXCISIONAL, not needle.

www.nci.nih.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/page6/

The NCI says, "The doctor does not remove the tissue sample with a needle (needle biopsy). A needle cannot remove a large enough sample for the pathologist to diagnose lymphoma."

Your doctor may have other reasons for choosing needle, but if you get a negative from the needle biopsy, don't believe it. Based on my own failed needle biopsy I'd say it's better to get the correct results (from excisional) sooner than later.

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Avatar_n_tn
What sort of tests have you done? I also have these swollen lymph nodes all over the place, and my urine has been smelling odd too.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had all the usual blood tests for viral infections, all normal. As well as full blood work up...all normal again. I had an ultrasound on my thyroid gland...normal. I've taken a course of Amoxicylin which had no effect. After a month my glands were still up...still had a horrible uncomfortable throat. I then suggested to my doctor that I try and stronger antibiotic...pure penicillin and 2 wks after I finished the course, my throat problems seem to be gone completely. Looks like the penicillin worked :-) so apart from having the flu at the moment, my throat is fine. I have a ENT appointment on the 14th which my doctor has suggested that I keep...no harm in getting checked out.

So in total my throat/gland problems lasted about 3 mths and we're still not sure what was causing them. Probably just a tough viral infection which took a lot of budging to budge.
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Avatar_f_tn
I appreciate the comments you posted.  I recently went to my ENT appt. and a dermatologist.  My dermatolgist put me back on the antibiotic keflex which my primary put me on originally and my skin began to clear up again and my lymph node decreased in size.  Blood tests are normal  ENT wants me to follow up again in 6 weeks.  All 3 docs at the moment are in agreement that the swollen glands are a result of the acne.  I'm also back on birth control to balance out my hormones, that's a whole other story.  I'm not happy about it because I was planning to get pregnant.  But the thing that makes me so uneasy is I've had acne at different times in my life, varying degrees of it and I've never had this problem.  After speaking with friends of mine in the medical field and reading the latest posts, I'm seriously going to be pushing for stronger meds (although the gland has decreased in size, it's still there) and excisional biopsy.  I know they are going to think I'm a hypochondriac but it just seems absurd to keep patients waiting for so long.  My ultrasound showed some abnormality and the radiologist made the recommendation for fine needle aspiration.  I just want to know if there is something wrong.  If there are any other suggestions anyone can give, I'd totally appreciate it.  Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
CAn anyone help me here? I'm getting no answers from family doctor and even changed doctors for second opinions to no avail.
I'm a 19 year old girl ..always been overweight, and now I'm having multiple symptoms that I can't keep up with anymore..
I've never had regular periods, but they altogether stopped 2 years ago. I have a bit of under the chin facial hair. I didn't see doctor at all.
For past 2 months I've had puzzling symptoms .
!st was chest pains--normal chest x-ray
Only abnormality in blood work is elevated testosterone ..
The doctors say I have stress disorder because of a whole list of symptoms similar to stress...but would I also have vision problems now?
or tremors? tingling in fingers and feet..chest pain on laughing or crying,,persistent headaches and now swollen neck glands and pain at back of my neck and at the back of my eyes?
Dizziness? Tremors feel like an earthquake feeling..
So because chest x-ray was normal and blood work is normal they say it's all in my head..
I'm running to different doctors and hospital emergency rooms with no answers...Can there be something wrong inside my chest that they're not finding?
Sarah
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Avatar_n_tn
Two months ago I found white pus (pea size) in my mouth under the inner tongue (right side), I remove it with buds after three weeks back I saw it again and remove again now today I saw it again.  I am very much worried. What is this . please suggest.
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Avatar_f_tn
hello, your symptoms sound as if they are Thyroid related www.about.com is the best site Ive found just enter thyroid in their search bar. I had exactly the same symptoms for years and even with a ' normal' range thyroid function test it could still be your thyroid, I eventually got a second oppinion from an edocrinologist who started me on thyroxine and within 6 months all the symptoms either disapperaed or became much improved. Please get your thyroid checked out and do some research on the website I mentioned. best of luck. Babboo64
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