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Joined: Oct 2008

I went to the doctor two months ago because I felt a lump in the side of my neck(size of a bean) I had a cold at the time and the doctor said it was just a swollen lymph node due to my cold she told me to come back if this did not go away. So three weeks later it was still there so I went back to see her and she said she wanted to do a CT scan which over a week later nobody still never approved with my ins. so I got upset and switched doctors well the new doctor I was suppose to see had a family emergency and will not be back until next week so I went to the urgent care because I could not wait any longer he felt my neck and said he thought nothing was wrong but he would do a blood test just to make sure the blood test came back normal. I was wondering if this is rare do alot of blood test come back normal if cancer is present?

Mr Taipei
Posts: 10
Joined: Aug 2008

Hi Heath,

Are you seeing an ENT specialist, or just a general doctor?

My wife had a lump on her neck that the doctors didn't react to for a couple of months... they left it for 2 weeks, treated it with antibiotics for another 2 weeks, then were satisfied with the results. Turned out later to be nasopharyngeal cancer.

A cancerous lump will have certain characteristics - it will present at a specific area of the neck and is generally painless, fixed and hard/rubbery to the touch. There's a range of things they can and will do to check it - my wife initially had an ultrasound of her neck and a fine-needle test of the area when she actually saw someone who knew what they were doing. She didn't have any blood tests, but that doesn't mean a blood test will show nothing.

I'm not saying it's likely you have lymphoma or any other cancer - it's probably nothing - but you should get it checked out by a proper ENT doctor. A week won't make any difference so try not to worry.

Posts: 40
Joined: Aug 2008

I agree with Mr Taipei on his response. You should get it checked out thoroughly to make sure it is nothing. A couple of weeks will not make a difference. Blood work does not always show cancer if it is in the beginning stages. I have lymphoma and my initial bloodwork the first time did alert them to something not being right. During remission I had regular bloodwork done and it was always normal for me they would say. When the lymphoma showed up the second time around the blookwork did not show anything, it was the CT scan that showed it was back. Please do continue looking into why this lymph node is enlarged, but don't worry about the time factor. Most of the time it is nothing at all. Good luck!

Catism's picture
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2008

Heath, I have Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and will say that during the first year of it's development, my blood work consistently showed an elevated white count. This happens with infection as well but I didn't have infection present. I also carried a chronic low grade fever (99.9 to 101 degrees). It's to my understanding that a chronically elevated white count with no infection present as well as carrying a low grade fever consistently, can be indications of a Lymphoma type situation.

Were I you, I'd keep at trying to uncover the cause for the enlarged lymph node, if in fact it does continue to stay enlarged with no infection being present. I should think a needle biopsy as has already been suggested, may be very telling as to what your situation actually is.

I wish you well and much Love, Light and Laughter...

Posts: 6
Joined: Oct 2008

I've had hodgkin's disease twice, the first time I had a cluster of enlarged lymphnodes around my neck. The first lymphnode started so small then got really big over a period of three weeks. It took the doctors so much time to figure it out and I had to suffer for two months before they suggested a biopsy.In the beginning they thought it was TB and they admitted me to the hospital and isolated me for five days, then they released me without knowing what was going on. Finally, one doctor suggested that the size of the lymphnode was significant and did a biopsy which turned to be hodgkin's disease. The good news is that I've survived hodgkin's twice after undergoing chemo, radiation, and transplant.
I wish you well and good luck

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2008

Thank you for all your replies. I finally did see the other doctor that was out and he sent me for testing. They first did an ultrasound and that showed a 1.1 cm lymph node so they requested a Ct scan my Ins denied 3 times before they finally approved that came back with a 2.2cm lymph node. I do have a bad tooth which I have an appointment for a root canal. The doctor thinks this lymph node could be due to my tooth so he put me on antibiotics to see if it would go down. Also they did more blood work and said everything looked perfect. He said I could not have asked for a more perfect white blood cell count. He did refer me to an oncologist that I seen last week. He looked over everything and said he thought it could be due to my tooth also so he wanted to wait to see if the antibiotics would make the swelling go down. I have an appontiment with him tommarrow he said if it did not go down he would schedule a biopsy. It has not went down I am so ready to get this biopsy and know either way.

Posts: 10
Joined: Oct 2008


Hope all turns out well and I agree with what everyone has said. I think it is great that you are being proactive with all of this. You have to be a partner in your own healthcare. I'm a four-year survivor of nHL and I think I ignored symptoms out of ignorance or fear of being too cautious. Heck, the word lymphoma never even entered my mind until my doctor mentioned it.

I now know there is no such thing as being too cautious. I'm facing possible recurrence now, but I'm glad my doctors have been keeping an eye on me as the earlier the catch the more options you often have. Sounds like you've got folks who are paying attention as well.

So, here's hoping first and foremost that the node is just a normal reaction to some dental woe. If you do go the biopsy route, still not bad - peace of mind either way. And just two closing pieces of advice: 1) don't get ahead of yourself - there are a lot of things that cause large lymph nodes and the "what ifs" can drive you crazy; and 2) be selective in the Internet resources you read trying to find answers. I spent many a night reading half-truths or half-understanding information I found online. Stick with ACS stuff and what your providers tell you.


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