I have been suffering from lymph node ache/pain for almost 2 months now. It started on the right side of my neck and quickly spread (within 10 days) to other lymph nodes in the neck and then groin. I do not feel anything in the armpits. Currently I have persistent pain/discomfort in the lymph nodes in the neck and groin area. Sometimes the pain/discomfort is like a pinch and goes away in 1-2 seconds (more in the groin area), but mostly I would have a dull ache in one area in the neck ALL day long. The pain is not severe but it creates discomfort and drives me crazy. I think this may be something serious. Never heard about lymph node pain this long. I think nodes are not swollen, at least not to the point which a doctor can notice during examination. The neck ultrasound a month ago was normal. I feel normal and do not have any other complaints. Just maybe the back of my right knee is itchy sometimes. I do not know if there is a connection though. The lymph nodes seem to hurt with touch (sometimes like if I brush my teeth, certain head movements etc.) I feel the need to press them with my fingers. I also noticed recently some swelling in my right hand fingers and little less in my left hand fingers.
I saw an MD (oncologist) for this problem and he requested some test such as CBC, liever enzym test: ALT, AST, ALP, LDH, and ESR and blood smear. He says he did not see any symptoms of Lymphoma. My ALT level came out high (98) and he thinks I have had a sort of viral infection. But I still do have lymph node discomfort.
Infection is the most common cause of a tender lymph node. I would exclude this possibility, and if present, take the appropriate antibiotics.
If the lymph node persists despite appropriate antibiotic treatment, you can consider a biopsy to definitely exclude infection.
A referral to an ENT physician or general surgeon, depending on the position of the lymph node, can be discussed with your personal physician.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Kevin Pho, M.D.
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