23 yr old f- Swollen submandibular lymph nodes for months

15briannare Member Posts: 2
edited May 5 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

I am a 23 year old female with no know medical issues. About 10 months ago (around Sept 2019) , I had swelling of my submandibular lymph nodes. It was a little swollen on both sides, but the right side had one in particular that was hard and round like a marble. I wasn't sick, so I was worried and went to get checked out by my primary care doctor. She examined me and told me not to worry, that it would go away with time. It was still around a month later. I told her that I wanted them to further investigate it to rule out cancer and lymphoma. She kind of laughed it off and said I was very young and healthy and the chances of that are extremely low. She respected my wishes and made me an ultrasound appointment, CT scan of abdominal area, blood work, and fine needle biopsy. Ultrasound confirmed it was lymph swelling, CT scan came back normal, blood work came back normal, and biopsy came back showing that I had a reactive lymph node. A few weeks after all the testing, the lymph node they were most worried about shrunk and went back to normal. Shortly after that, the lymph nodes by my ears began to feel sore and also began to mildly swell. They are still swollen to this day- right side a little more swollen than my left ( 7 months later). I left it alone for a while thinking this could all be caused by my TMJ or tooth that needs a possible root canal (though it is not showing any signs of active infection-still have not got any dental work done due to covid-19). Three months later (Jan 2020) I made an appointment to be seen by an ENT. I told her that when I swallow I feel the swelling from my lymph node, occational right sided ear pain/pressure,  and that I was also getting a lot of sinus related facial pain at the time. She examined me by ultrasound, put the camera down my nose to see my throat, and checked out my ears. She confirmed that there was still lymph node swelling, and that the right side was 3mm (i think). But that I should' worry because I had a biopsy done on that side and because I have no other symptoms/ no change in size. She mentioned that if nothing got better, they could test me for infectious diseases via blood work. I left feeling very reassured and positive about my situation. Fast forward to last week, (May 2020) I decided to reach out to the ENT for further investigation for my issue. Nothing has changed symptom wise. Both lymph nodes by my ears are the same size as they were months ago-as are the pair of submandibular lymph nodes that bother me when I swallow. I got my results for the infectious disease blood panel and everything came back normal. I am still wating to schedule my MRI. I'm super frustrated and scared.


  • johnsonbl
    johnsonbl Member Posts: 266 Member
    edited May 2020 #2
    Seems like you and your physicians have really....

    looked at everything and ruled out the serious stuff.  Your biopsy on that first lump all but rules out the big C.  With all these viruses floating around you just never know what you might run into.  As Occam's razor suggests, usually the simplest explanation is the correct one.  Likely a prolonged reaction to a virus or a dull infection somewhere.  The more complex scenarios you've already looked into and they were negative.

    The best you can do is just keep paying attention to things and if there are changes for the worse (more nodes, node growth, further swallowing impairement) then you should contact your physicians immediately.

    Good luck.


  • motorcycleguy
    motorcycleguy Member Posts: 474 Member
    edited May 2020 #3
    Make sure to ask questions!

    Your ENT should make you feel reasonably confident that your lymph node swelling is normal. Certainly, there are many other possibilities, other than Cancer.

    In my case, I had swelling in one side of my neck, that didn't shrink or go away for several weeks (and it wasn't benign).

    Keep an eye on it, and make sure it's not growing or staying there a long time.

    I know it's tough, but try not to worry about it any more than necessary. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, and getting the medical support you need.

  • wbcgaruss
    wbcgaruss Member Posts: 1,774 Member
    It Seems Like

    You have seen enough doctors and had enough tests and all showing nothing serious going on. You have been on top of this I will give you credit as many folks including myself keep holding of thinking it will go away, at least I used to be that way till I got cancer. Now I am like you  I try to stay on top of anything going on. Take comfort and be thankful you don't have cancer, so glad for you. You mentioned a tooth issue. When I was young I would get constant earaches. In those days you would go to the doc and get a shot of penicillin and be on your way and my earaches would go away for several months and be back and we would repeat this procedure. Well, not long after that I had a dental appointment and got Xrays and my back molars were diseased inside and did not show except in Xrays. What was happening was the penicillin was fighting the infection till it wore off and the earaches would be back again. I had the teeth pulled and never had an earache since then. Your teeth can affect a lot so when you can get them checked out. Not saying you have a problem but it is another thing to check and eliminate-Take Care-God Bless

  • Drivingdaisy
    Drivingdaisy Member Posts: 263
    edited June 2020 #5
    Swollen glands

    Have they caked Saliva gland infection.  Was getting them from allergies.  Lemon drops (sugar free), warm Compresses.  I love a gel called Arnica.  All natural, can get at Walgreens helps with swelling & slight pain.  Also cured My lymphoma after throat Cancer.  Just a thought?

    good luck, hugs, Lisa

  • 15briannare
    15briannare Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2020 #6

    Swollen glands

    Have they caked Saliva gland infection.  Was getting them from allergies.  Lemon drops (sugar free), warm Compresses.  I love a gel called Arnica.  All natural, can get at Walgreens helps with swelling & slight pain.  Also cured My lymphoma after throat Cancer.  Just a thought?

    good luck, hugs, Lisa

    Hi Lisa!

    Hi Lisa!

    I'm not sure if they checked for that. I occationally experiance really bad seasonal allergies and some sinus pain. After the MRI scan, all my ENT said was that there was swelling in basically all my lymph nodes in my neck on both sides and that one went down by 0.1 compared to a few months ago. But other than that, nothing else has really changed. I asked a lot of questions as to what it would be from, but she gave me literally no answers. She didn't seem too worried but did mention that we will be checking again in 6 months to make sure it hasn't gotten bigger. If it has we will do another biopsy. I will try the arnica and lemon drops, warm and compress. Thanks for the suggestions! 

    -Brianna <3 

  • johnsonbl
    johnsonbl Member Posts: 266 Member
    edited June 2020 #7
    Sorry you are still a little bit in the dark...

    but having all your nodes swelled up means that it's not cancer and is likely more of an immune response to something, allergies or a virus or something stupid like that.  Like you said, just keep a close eye on it and hopefully whatever it is will resolve on it's own!



  • SaraWK
    SaraWK Member Posts: 1 Member

    Hi there,

    I'm curious how this turns out for you Brianna. My husband is experiencing similar symptoms and is being subjected to lots of testing. I am curious if all the viruses have been tested for namely Ebstein Barr, herpes, cytomeglavirus, lyme, or Bartonella. he has had this issue since last September/October 2022 and now (May 2023) it is unchanged. He had what I could see observing from afar and trying to get as much info out of him as possible: started with mid-section pain (spleen or liver), progressed to the swelling, constant nose blowing, read face, watery eyes, night fever. that went away, but swelling is constant, unchanging (mostly). I am an herbalist and treating him for both long covid and viral infection: herpes and EBV. he has improved slightly....more energy, eating more, and not as tired, but in the lat two weeks after his biopsy, he has regressed a bit. I did treat him for Lyme, which I think he has from me, and he did have a die-off, but his lympadenopathy is unchanged. I just thought I would reach out and tell you what we are dealign with over here with possible symptom overlap. I hope you find relief. Curious what happens with your diagnosis. they ruled out malignancy for my husband.


  • motorcycleguy
    motorcycleguy Member Posts: 474 Member


    I have 2 points to make on this:

    1. GET the medical attention you need, if you feel there's something that needs attention - sooner than later!
    2. You (or your loved one) do NOT have Cancer - until a Doctor tells you (or your loved one) that you do!