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Swollen lymph nodes behind both ears with itching on body
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Swollen lymph nodes behind both ears with itching on body

I got an insect bite on my left forehead/scalp area.  The next night the bit e area got red and itchy with a slightly raised bite mark.  At this time i began to feels lumps on my lymph nodes behind BOTH ears.  There seems to be 3-4 bumps behind each ear.  The bumps on the right side are painful and soft but on the left side are painless and hard.  Also, before any of this about 3 weeks ago i began feeling itching in different places on my body like chest and abdomen.  I have no fever or sore throat or night sweats.  Please let me know what's going on.. could it be lymphoma?
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Avatar_n_tn
I should also mention that i am taking antibiotics now for about 2 days.  Before the insect bite i went to the doctor for the itching and he did a blood test.  The CBC results came back normal but that was before the insect bite/lymph nodes behind ears being swollen.  What should i do at this point?  Should i wait?  Is an ultrasound/CT/MRI/biopsy warranted to rule out lymphoma?
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1081992_tn?1389907237
Hi, it's not unusual for biting bugs to inject bacteria or parasites, maybe viruses, too.

Yes, it is strange, as you highlighted, that nodes behind both ears swelled up (post auricular nodes). Maybe you have a very reactive immune system.

There is no reason to evaluate you for lymphoma. But if you get more swollen nodes (or other symptoms), then it might be time to see your doc again - or an immunologist or infectious disease doc.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much for your reply.  I should mention I've had weight loss around 10 pounds over last month.  This was accompanied with itching.  Now I'm wondering if in Lymphoma both ear lymph nodes swell or not?  Can you please let me know.  Im going for an ultrasound tomorrow.
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1081992_tn?1389907237
In lymphoma, it would be very, very unusual for nodes to enlarge in the way that yours did - two symmetrical places at the same time. For infection, not nearly as unusual.

During your ultrasound, ask whoever is doing it whether the nodes look malignant (cancer) or reactive (infection).

Your itching would have been from histamine, btw. You probably have some infection since before the insect bite, maybe in the GI tract. That initial infection could have resulted in systemic inflammation. Maybe you should get a CRP test.

Good luck tomorrow, I'm sure you'll be relieved by the results.
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1081992_tn?1389907237
One other thing, if they see a "fatty hilum" in a node, that almost means it is not cancer, every time.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your response.  You're great.  I'll let you know how things go.  J
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1081992_tn?1389907237
Thanks, Jawad. Did you learn anything today from the person doing the scan, rather than having to wait until you get the actual report?
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Avatar_n_tn
Ken, i got the results from the ultrasound.  They were delivered immediately to my doctor for review.  On the posterior aurioular region on the left, results indicate that there are several small closely approximated morpologically normal appearing lymph nodes measuring up to 9mm with preserved fatty hila.  On the contralateral side, a single morphologically normal appearing lymph node measures 7mm.  No cervical lymphadenopathy is demonstrated.  In your opinion, do you think this is enough to say i do not have to worry about cancer?
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1081992_tn?1389907237
That's great news, Jawad. No reason at all to worry about cancer.

The phrase "normal morphology" means that the internal structure of the nodes is as it should be. If you were to slice a tomato, you would see the ribs and chambers and seeds, etc. A node is similar. But if you slice a potato, it's all the same inside - that's how a node would be in cancer, when the normal cells (and structure) have all been replaced by identical cancer cells.

If you have a personal or family history of a very reactive immune system (autoimmunity, auto-inflammatory conditions, allergies, severe bout of mononucleosis, etc), that would help explain why you had such a severe reaction to the bite.

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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your insight Ken.. Great information.  Im glad it wasn't cancer.  This experience has definately got me thinking bout changing my lifestyle and investing more into finding a cure for this awful disease.

So it turns out it was a black fly that bit me on my forehead/hairline while i was at a cottage in Northern Ontario.  This bite happened a day before the lymph nodes swelled up.  I'll get tested for mono just in case but I'm pretty sure it's that Black fly that did the damage. Will let you know how I feel in a few days.  Talk soon.  J
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1081992_tn?1389907237
Nope, there's no need to get tested for mono (EBV). What I'd meant is this: most humans got the Epstein Barr Virus at some point; but only a minor percentage end up with severe symptoms, and those people are more likely to eventually end up down the road with other immune conditions. Having severe mono can be a marker for an overactive immune system.

If you look through this group, you'll see the kind of mystery immune conditions that some have.

Consider this: out of every 100 people who go to a doc over being concerned about enlarged lymph nodes, only 4 get sent for a biopsy and only 2 end up with a malignancy.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the feedback.. I just got tested for EBV.  My only concern is, is there a possibility that the lymph node can become cancerous because of ebv?
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1081992_tn?1389907237
Well, having an association doesn't prove causation, and the vast majority of people with EBV don't get lymphoma. And don't forget that Burkitt's is mainly in Africa.

But viruses can do many strange things. About 5% of human DNA is from viruses - not from an infection that any individual gets in their lifetime, but passed down through the generations, just riding along. If you add up all the viruses in the oceans, they weight more than all the elephants of the planet.
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