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Swollen Lymph Nodes

Audray's picture
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2012

Does anyone know how large lymph nodes can swell to? I have had been left with 2 swollen lymph nodes after recieving 8 rounds of chemotherapy which I finished during August 2011.
They have stayed around the same size until my last scan that shows one is now 24mm by 39mm. I am wondering if this is now too large to treat, and out of control. I really don't have a clue about size, and can't find any details on the internet. The other has reduced by half. So this is all abit confusing.

snowbird_11's picture
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

Actually they are not terribly large - an inch is about 2.5cm or 25mm. The decision whether to treat or not is very individualized. What type of cancer did you have?

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 1592
Joined: Nov 2009

Did you have lymph nodes removed when you were diagnosed? It is possible you could be suffering from lymphodemia(?). Has your doctor discussed the swollen lymph nodes with you and do they seem concerned?

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Are the nodes swollen or is this metastasis? Totally different situations. I have been dealing with mets in lymph system for over 2 years. What are your docs telling you?

Audray's picture
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2012

Thanks for posting daisy,
I believe these are metastasis. They were picked up on a scan almost a year after having a hysterectomy (Laproscopic) for Uterine Cancer ( stage 1b at that time.!) which I had on 1st of June 2010. The lymph nodes where not tested seemingly at the time of the hysterectomy.
After this follow up scan in March 2011 I was told that I had a reoccurenece in swollen lymph nodes, but no details, at that time. (They coundn't do a biopsy because of where they are.)
I then had 6 rounds of carbo/taxol chemo from April to August of last year 2011. Before starting the chemo my CA125 was 160, after the chemo it was within the normal range around 20. and according to the scan on 8th September 2011 a month after the chemo I had three areas where the lymph nodes were 11mm, 8mm,and 12mm. in the pelvic area.
Another scan in February 2012 showed an increase in size of two of these nodes one to 24mm, the other to 22 mm. But my CA125 as been constant around 22 each month since then. The scan I had on the 25th of June shows now that I have one lymph node of 39mm x 24mm, another of 10mm and small ones around the paraaortic area.So I am awating a clinic appointment now to see what if any treatment I should be having. What has your situation been daisy? I do hope things are going well for you. I am new to this web site and I live in the Uk ,but I have found it just what I am needing right now.

HellieC's picture
Posts: 524
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi Audray
I am so sorry that you might to be facing another recurrence. I say "might" because there seem to be so many unanswered questions, e.g. could it be infection, why has the CA125 not risen this time, etc etc. Hopefully these will be answered at your next appointment.
However, if it does prove to be a recurrence, there are various treatment options available.
It may be possible to "re-challenge" with the same chemo combination you had previously, if your team consider you had a long enough response last time. If not, there are other chemo options, or hormone therapy with progestins, aromatase inhibitors etc. These get a fair response rate for cancers that are hormone sensitive (they will be able to check your previous tumour sample for hormone sensitivity).
This is a long and bumpy road, with many unexpected twists, turns and potholes - I have been travelling it for a long time. I had my hysterectomy in 2001, when they didn't find any actual cancer (just atypical hyperplasia). Seven years later, I had my first "recurrence". I am currently looking at treatment options for my third recurrence! Other than this darned cancer, I am fit, well, happy and intend to stay that way!
I hope your appointment answers your questions and gets you on the right treatment path for you.
Kindest regards

daisy366's picture
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Both recurrences were in lymph nodes. First in supraclavicular nodes (neck) discovered by me 14 months after initial treatment completed. I had 7 wks of chemo (carboplatin) and low dose tomo radiation. This brought me back to NED for another 14 months until PET scan showed positive nodes in 2 para-aortic areas. I have been taking letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, for 4 months now.

Since my ca125 is rising steadily we will get another scan in August and re-evaluate.

If you can get a PET scan, discuss this with your doc. My dr. preferred scan in the PET/CT.

Good luck with everything. Keep us posted.

Hugs, Mary Ann (daisy)

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