swollen lymphs under jaw and neck. anything serious?
I'm a 29 yr old male and have been having tiny black been sized swollen lymph nodes under my jaw and neck. Details:
1. In August, I had a swollen lymph node under my left jaw that remained there for 4 weeks. Doctor prescribed me amoxicillin 875mg twice a day for 5 days. 2 weeks later it went down.
2. In October a node appeared under my right jaw. I repeated same medicine and it went down in couple weeks.
3. Another one of same size appeared in November very close to the second one under my right jaw. I didn't take any medication but it went down automatically in 2-3 weeks
4. I have a similar sized one on the left side of my upper neck that came up 4 days ago. It's red and pains when o touch. I haven't seen a doctor and not taken any medication.
I recently had cold and cough that lasted for a week with fever upto 99.9 for a day. No other symptom. I do not have any swollen lymphs in my groin or armpits.
I went for rapid HIV testing 10 days ago after reading about swollen nodes online can be due to HIV. Results were negative.
I have been little worried about these frequently swelling nodes.
Hello and welcome. To me, it sounds like your body is fighting off some sort of infection, possibly related to the cold and slight fever you had. Sometimes we can have an infection brewing inside that we can't even see, but our white blood cells have multiplied over and over to help fight it. These white blood cells collect in the lymph nodes and can make them swell. Possibly the antibiotics you were on weren't the right ones or weren't strong enough to do the trick.
I can tell you that swollen nodes related to blood cancers usually do not cause pain. They also tend to stay the same size or get bigger, but not go down and pop up in another lymph node. I would recommend that you continue seeing your doctor about this, as they will probably want to try you on some different medication. He could also take some blood and check the levels of various blood cells and LDH if he is concerned about cancer. This is not a definitive test, but can be a stepping stone to diagnosis. Good luck.
The recent cold *could* have caused weakened immunity, which lets some other opportunistic infection take hold. E.g., it's not unusual for a viral pneumonia to lead to a much worse bacterial pneumonia.
Do you happen to have a cat?
Meanwhile, as Mocha said, cancer rarely causes pain in a node. The reason is that a swelling reaction to infection results in pressure against the node's enclosing capsule. But cancer just grows right through the capsule, so there usually is no pressure and no pain.
Plus, your nodes, while enlarged, still stayed small.
For doing a DDx, you'd want to know what pathogens can create a series of different nodes to react. E.g., cat scratch fever.
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