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Enlarged node-no other symptoms?

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2016

hi everyone I apologize as I am new here and have not yet been diagnosed but I had some questions I thought maybe someone here could answer. 


I have had enlarged lymph node about 3 or 4 weeks now in my groin. I am 31 and I have had no other symptoms or sickness or injury prior to finding it. It is painless. Bloodwork results were fine and ultrasound was inconclusive and measured the node at 2.0 x .8 x 1.6. My PCP said it was nothing but sent me to a surgeon right away and I saw him last week. He said he would like to remove and biopsy the node but not to worry as it's probably nothing. He was booking out into October but wanted to work me in as soon as possible so I am getting it done Friday under general. I have had no other symptoms. No night sweats. I sometimes lack energy but I have 5 kids and am usually up a night with at least one sure I'm sure that doesn't help. I did have extreme itching one night last week. It was unbearable and felt like my skin was crawling off like an allergy but no hives and I couldn't get it to stop but nothing since then. Is lymphoma something that can happen without any other symptoms? Is there anything I should be aware of for the biopsy? It is good for me to process and prepare myself with info mentally which is why I am not pushing it away. I am quite nervous about the outcome but my husband suffers with really bad anxiety especially about things like this so I don't want to worry him but need someone to talk to. Is there anything in particular I should ask him before or after the biopsy? Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3689
Joined: May 2012

While your node does not "scream" lymphoma, anything is possible.  Probably the best advice you could receive is to get the biopsy and let that settle it, since only a biopsy can definitively determine cancer.

I was diagnosed with advanced, widespread HL in 2009; it was basically everywhere lymphoma can go.  At that time I had normal blood labs, and had never felt a node anywhere.  My GP had difficulty finding a node anywhere after my horrible CT, but finally said he thought he could feel a little something in my axial (armpit) region.  A surgeon took my biopsy from that armpit a few days later, and it was golfball sized.  There were dozens of others that large, from my collarbone, down in to the pelvic region. I was having heart pain that was diagnosed initially as angina, but which was nodes pressing agains the heart walls.

My point is that while lymphoma is sometimes easy to detect, the absence of symptoms is not really an argument agains it.  Normal CBC results are not uncommon in people who are diagnosed with stage III or IV disease.  Palpable nodes are not always documented prior to diagnosis.  My oncologist told me that all of my nodes simply happened to be deeply embedded.

What is probably almost universal with lymophoma is extreme fatigue; I was needing 12 hours of sleep a day when diagnosed.  The problem with this is that dozens of things cause serious fatigue, so extreme fatigue does not always come to mind for most family medicine doctors.

Itching, like night sweats, is caused by histimine imbalances, and can be lymphoma-related.  So again, it is best to get the scheduled biopsy.

Be aware that even Stage IV lymphoma is among the most curable or at least controllable forms of cancer.  IF it is cancer, you should be able to achieve full remission very fast, and most lymohomas do not relapse. My strain is considered very relape-prone among lymphoma types (of which there are over 40), but even it relapses only at 15%, which means that 85% of people, even with my strain, do not relapse.  So regardless of what the biopsy shows, you will extremely likely be fine, and should live to the 80 or so years of age that is currently the norm for women in the US.  Cure rates for all lymphomas overall in the US exceeds 80%.  Some brain tumors, conversely, have five-year survival rates of around 1%.  There is no comparison.    While lymphoma is certainly never a "good" thing, there are hundreds of other cancers that are exponentially worse.




Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2016

Thank you so much for the response. Yes I am just trying to wait and see what happens with the biopsy. Would that be weird to just have the itching one time and not again? Maybe it is just a coincidence that it happened. It felt so bad like I was going to get hives but then never did. That makes me feel a lot better about it being more treatable/manageable with such a high cure rate. That is crazy you couldn't feel those lymph nodes I am so glad it was caught for you and I hope you continue to not have any relapse with it. Thank you again! 

lindary's picture
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2015

I have looked at the list of symptoms for lymphoma many times. The few I had would not have set off any alarms. Given my age, post-hysterectomy, IBS & thyroid problem there was always another answer. It was an unusual series of bowle movements at the time of am appt with my PCP that found the enlarged node. Who knows how long I had already had it and there is no way to tell when it decided to be "active". All you can do is wait for the test results. 

po18guy's picture
Posts: 1213
Joined: Nov 2011

Groin node. Hmmmm. Ask yourself: Have you had any ob-gyn issues, such as UTI or a yeast infection? Were you checked for both? Either will cause lymph nodes in the surrounding area to enlarge, as T-lymphocytes rush to the area, via the nodes, to fight the infection. It is all 100% natural. Your nodes have enlarged uncountable times during your life - it is just that you never noticed them doing their infection-fighting job.

As to the biopsy, do nothing but live life until you have the pathology report in hand. There is no point in getting stressed over something that, at this time, is nothing. Remember also that leaping from a single node all the way to cancer is quite a leap. First thing, before diagnosis: Stay away from Google! To stay sane, commit the following to memory: "You do not have cancer until a pathology report says you have cancer."

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