Lyme Disease Community
2.1k Members
Avatar universal

Can Lyme disease cause cancer?

I was tested for Lupus, RA, all kinds of infectious diseases, STD's and Aids. All negative, ITher
lyme disease test showed up positive for IGM P23, but that was not enough to consider it to consider it Lyme Disease, my dr. was going to start treatment for it anyway, since nothing else was positive (cat scratch fever, e. coli, bartonella all negative) but after CT's and US results wants me to see an oncologist. The only other positive results is EBV IGg VCA virus of 8.0 when it should be 1.0, very high, and C-Reactive protein high at 6.0.

Would Lyme cause those kind of results or could Lyme cause cancer? what does the protein p23 have to do with cancer? This has been a roller coaster since April Fools Day, my first appointment!!

the thyroid ultrasound results are a bit confusing to me and I haven't spoken to my doctor yet, and wont until Monday afternoon, but they did find more nodules than just the one that was found on the CT scan. T

There are 3 nodules all together. One on the right lower lobe 1.1 cm, isoehoic with anechoic rim, the Left Isthimus has a nodule, 3.6mm a vague hypoechoic area. The lower left lobe has a isoechoic structure 4.1mm, there appears to be a halo. No hypervasularity appearing, Impression - multinodular goiter.

The only thing now is to correlate all this with the nodes found in the neck on the CT, (no US was done on the neck) but CT showed jugular chain, bilaterally fron and back nodes and one occiptical node, and under the chin, submandular and submental regaion which I have read is not a good sign.

The first time I had any tests done was an ultrasound on my breasts after 2 mammograms and they found 2.7 cm lymph auxillary tail nodes and said to come back next year that it was nothing to worry about. Now it seems I have them everywhere! The Pelvic US showed the same thing many, many cysts on endoemetrial complex, heterogenous in appearance and nabothonian cysts and a 13mm on ovaries with endometrial thickness and ct showed inguinal nodes under 12mm.

All of this started with swollen nodes, fatigue, and tachycardia, abnormal blood counts and urine analysis. For the past two months I have had elevated WBC, lower RBC, high platelets, and high Lymph#. Urine has consistently shown protein, blood and leukocytes. Most of y pain is in pelvic area and bones.

6 months ago I noticed if I run my hand along the bones in my lower leg I would feel pain in the bones now it is that way with my skin over the joints and especially the knees, I feel lumps under my skin in these places and have told this to every doctor I have seen.

I'm just one big nodule/cyst!!! By the way what is the difference between a tumor and a nodule, node, and cyst??

Any advice would be great!

Hoping for the best for all of us,


4 Responses
Avatar universal

It sounds like your doc is trying to be very thorough, which is good, but may not have a progressive view of Lyme.  I'm not medically trained, so I'm guessing this because he is covering all the bases with the testing, but is not pursuing what may be Lyme, which is a fairly common infection these days.

For example, band 23 on a Lyme test will not light up positive except in the presence of Lyme bacteria.  It is one of only a few bands on the tests that have that quality.  That your doc says it's not enough to qualify as a Lyme infection indicates that he is not a progressive thinker about Lyme disease.  There is much research going on and there are advances in diagnosis and treatment, but many of them are ignored by so-called mainstream medicine, for political reasons.  If you go to ILADS [dot] org, under the tab 'about Lyme' and read Burrascano's 'Diagnostic Hints ...' you'll see how an LLMD (a Lyme specialist) thinks.

There are possible co-infections other than the three you list, but your doc may not have tested you for them, based on your symptoms.  An LLMD could explore that with you.

I have heard from other Lyme patients that lumps under the skin are not uncommon, and they come and go.  I don't know what they are inside, but odd swellings are not unusual in Lyme.

Lyme can and does mess with the whole endocrine system, including thyroid.  It happened to me.  I got some thyroid nodules, which in an abundance of caution, my LLMD had tested by FNAB [fine needle aspiration biopsy] to be sure there was not a concurrent cancer going on, and it was all negative.  So don't automatically assume you have cancer, okay?  Your doc is just being careful, which is good.

You may have or have had EBV, which is a pretty common virus causing infectious mononucleosis.  Thus the positive result on that test could indicate a current or recent EBV infection.

C-reactive protein is high when you have inflammation, and that can happen in Lyme and other things too, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.  Many of us with Lyme have inflammation of various kinds, lumps and swellings in joints and elsewhere.

To answer your questions:  

"Would Lyme cause those kind of results or could Lyme cause cancer?"  Yes, I think Lyme could cause those test results, and no, I don't think Lyme can cause cancer.  It's a bacterial infection.  I've never read that cancer is caused by bacteria.  

"What does the protein p23 have to do with cancer?"  Nothing that I know of.

So in your situation, I'd wait till the tests come back, get copies of ALL your test results, and find a Lyme specialist for a second opinion, but you don't necessarily need to tell your current doc you are going to do that.  NonLLMDs often don't react well knowing that a patient is going to see an LLMD, because they are often considered quacks.  Some of them may be, but that's true of 'regular' docs too.

Best wishes --
Avatar universal
I had lyme first undiagnosed, and finally got so sick, read about lyme disease.  Told Doc I thought I had lyme or cancer, then she found breast lump

then I was diagnosed with lyme and cancer.  I was on iv antibiotics for a long time, and had to do alternative cancer treatment due to how sick I was.  I wanted the tumors biopsied for spirochete, mycobacteria, fungi, and bunch of other stuff but they refused.  I have since learned that intracellular pathogens cause cancer.  ie, infections like viruses, fungi, mycoplasms, bacterias, can get in to the cells, and make them form cancers.  I have read alot about this stuff.  rife machines, IV antibiotics, and lots of other treatments help lyme, but I dont feel completely cured yet.  I feel like I have lost my soul.  I am not the person I used to be.  I am a shell.....  Seems to attack your joy, complex thinking, creativity, etc.  along with the physically disabling joint, muscle, fatigue issues, etc.  Lyme is the great masquerador, many diseases are undiagnosed lymes.  guillon berrae, lupus, Multiple Sclerosid, fibromyalgia, rhumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, parkinsons disease, alzheimers, and many many more.  Do your research.  What these all have in common is no one really knows exactly what causes them.  They put all your symptoms in a basket and then see which disease name you fit closest too.  What a CROCK.  They keep coming up with new diseases hmmmmmmmm.
1763947 tn?1334058919
I was diagnosed with everything, Lupus, vasulitits, hashimotos. my c -reaction protein was high, EBV, and many more but my Lyme brain, I have lesions on my brain, keep me from remembering at this minute but  I agree with Jackie, I have never heard of it causing cancer. It can "pretend" to be all these other illnesses though so having someone (an LLMD) who really understands this is the key in guiding your way through it. I do have swollen lymph nodes all over my body which hurts but I heard this is not uncommon.
Avatar universal
Odd, this just popped up on my iPhone. I understand this was posted years ago but I'm replying in case anyone still might see this. In 2010 I broke by tibula and fibula that needed hardware to set, eight months later my "perfectly healing" leg accessed. They removed the hardware from infected side and found serratia marcences (gram negative bacteria) got into my bone. The surgon gave me 4-6 weeks oral Cipro. Soon after I developed chronic fatigue, pain and cognitive issues. In May 2013 I had remaining hardware removed thinking I would improve, but I got worse. Blood work suggested infection but they could not source. January 2014 scans showed tumors, masses in lungs, enlarged adrenal glad with mass/cyst and fibroids in uterus (zero history and post menopause). Reports said appeared infectious/inflammatory. Tested for Lyme's but only have 2 of required 5 bands so "negative". Biopsies in November 2014 said NSCLC in lungs and lymph nodes. I was and remain asymptomatic for cancer. February 3, 2015 2nd opinion said Stage 4. Did "only option" of chemo May-June with little results. November it progressed but looked "infectious". Biopsies found Histiocytosis X (LCH). July 2016 3rd oncologist said everything was misinterpreted but scans did not show LCH in bones and it had spread to my heart so he said it must all be cancer. IMO heart cancer is ridiculously rare AND I found subgroup of Histiocytosis/LCH ECD  disease and the only one that affects the heart. I haven't been able to get myself to see another "specialist" since but I found doctor at Hopkins that sees patients with ECD and hope to see him soon. I believe first recommended treatment of daily radiation and weekly chemo would have kllled me and they never would have found LCH. Every medical professional has said I should have had 4-6 weeks IV antibiotics followed by 6 months to a year of oral after my leg abcessed in 2011, and that's what made me sick. I don't believe Histiocytosis is rare I think it's ignored. My PCP has let me take a combo of Bactrim and prednisone since I had a sinus/bronchial infection last July. I have IMPROVED and take that combo every 2-6 weeks for approx 10 days (prednisone is recommended for LCH). I believe Histiocytosis/LCH/ECD caused my tumors, lesions, masses and cysts. It's been next to impossible to get a doctor to consider anything other than cancer after I was "branded" with it. I also believe it could be Lyme's related because I had a ton of confirmed deer ticks since living by woods since 2005. I also believe only 2 bands should not be considered "negative" by the CDC. Whatever I have I do not believe it's cancer because I remain asymptomatic for it. Please try to get tested for LCH/ECD. Best of luck to everyone!
NOPD1 - like you this page was offered up to me near the top of the list when I had looked up if there was a Link between Cancer and Lyme disease. I thought I would leave a comment, and some information, even though it has been quite some time between your post and when I am leaving my own. Not to mention the years between now and when the thread was started. I still believe it's a valid point and something in which should be explored. I will begin with giving you some information NOPD1. Namely that you can find some excellent information on YouTube from a former Mayo Clinic Doctor named Dr. Alfred Miller. www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=Fr61GV8JCYQ    I don't know if the link will work or not, but I left it in here just in case it does and to help it along I split it up a bit to hopefully get around anything that will block out external links. Dr. Miller explains a great deal about the tests and what the bands mean, and that only 2 bands actually track the Lyme Bacteria. So The question to ask that Doctor would be 'Which 2 bands showed up?' The most reliable (though it has to be sent to the right labs to be reliable enough) is the Western Blot test. As it is meant to look for those particular bands. And Only 1 needs to be active for you to have Lyme, because it wouldn't have shown up at all if you didn't have the bacteria in you. The CDC has long ago retracted the '5 bands' rule for Lyme, as new information comes out they have to concede that most people that have it don't know about it until they have developed debilitating symptoms, and by that time, the disease has stopped being so active within your body and has taken up residence in your blood cells, cause all kinds of damage wherever it goes.                                         As for the Lyme and Cancer part, which was what brought me to this threat in the first place, I have been trying to figure this particular question out myself. I have been diagnosed with Lyme after going Untreated for just over 20 years. (Yes, 20 years... I was told I was crazy for the first 12 years I had become symptomatic) After that It was just trying to stem the damage as best as possible. I've had to undergo blood transfusions, a hysterectomy, and then Thyroid Cancer.  All before I had turned 36 years old. None of the Doctors can give me a credible answer as to Why these things had happened, within a four year time span. And as it looks like I have another form of Cancer that has just been detected after only being in remission for a year, I have to seriously wonder if my advanced Lyme has caused the series of problems I have have including the Thyroid Cancer. I believe that too many doctors don't want to think outside what they perceive to be 'real' illnesses as then they would have to learn something new, and then not be the one that knows what is going on. Frankly I respect a Doctor a lot more if they can say 'I don't know what is happening, But I'm going to work to find out.' To me that is the true measure of a Doctor, because they are putting the health of the people they are treating before their own egos, by admitting that they don't have all the answers right a way. So if anyone else reads this later on down the road, don't think you are the only one, there are Doctors out there that will help you. Look to the Lyme Disease [dot] org to begin with. there is also some Facebook resources that might help you get in touch with some medical personal in your area as well. Just look up Lyme Support on Facebook and you should get something. Lyme has now become more known in mainstream media now, though it's still not as well documented as it should be, but it's enough to give people more avenues for support and medical care than they once had.  
Have an Answer?
Top Infectious Diseases Answerers
1415174 tn?1453246703
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
Before your drop a dime at the pharmacy, find out if these popular cold and flu home remedies are a wonder or a waste
Fend off colds and the flu with these disease-fighting foods