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swollen painless lymph node
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swollen painless lymph node

My mother, 43 years old, has had a painless swollen lymph node on the back of her neck for several months.  I don't think it has increased in size.  She has an appointment to get it checked out, but I'm sure it will be weeks before we get any test results, and I am very worried.  Everything I have read online about this symptom states that lymphoma is the likely cause.  She has none of the other symptoms commonly associated with lymphoma.  I have seen no mention anywhere of other possible causes for this symptom....please tell me it could be due to something other than lymphoma?  Thank you for your help.
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233190_tn?1278553401
Infection would be most common cause of an enlarged lymph node.  

Checking for any upper respiratory infections and viruses can be considered.  

If lymphoma is considered, a blood count can be done.  However, the definitive test would be a lymph node biopsy.  

If this is suspected, a referral to a surgeon can be considered.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

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, M.D.
kevinmd_
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same issue but my lymph node is on my upper left chest. (axillary node)  Having a biopsy 7/18/07--very scared I too think it sometimes could be lymphoma.  Good luck and please let me know how it works out!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there!  How did it go today?  I hope it wasn't too painful for you.

My mother went to her primary care doctor today. He referred her to a specialist for a cat scan, which she had this afternoon.  We should have the results within the next couple days.  I'm hoping she won't need a biopsy, but I have a feeling that she will.  

I wish you the best and will say a prayer for you.  Please let us know what happens.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have several enlarged lymph nodes for eight months now in my neck.  My ENT doctor says we can just "watch and wait" to see if they get any bigger or I develop new symptoms.  But I am also worried about lymphoma.  He says he will do a biopsy if I want him to, but that he doesn't really think it is necessary.  I am not sure what to do.

I hope everyone's tests came out negative.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone, my mother's cat scan results came back normal!  Fortunately she needs no other testing at this point.  She actually has a few more swollen lymph nodes on that side of her neck (I thought there was only one).  Her doctor said that when lymph nodes enlarge due to infection, they may go back to normal weeks or months after the infection is cleared....or they sometimes remain enlarged indefinitely.  So please know that this doesn't always mean there is a malignancy.  I wish you all the best of luck.
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