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Does Abnormal Lymph Node Ultrasound Mean Cancer?

Badams6161
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2017

I went in for what I was hoping would be my last appointment for my lymph node. I had an ultra sound done that showed my lymph node was abnormal, and will be scheduling surgery on Friday to have it removed for biopsy.  I had a CT scan done two weeks ago that they said everything looked normal, so I was kind of surprised to have them tell me it wasn't now.  What else could cause a lymph node to appear "abnormal" from an ultrasound? I tried looking it up to ease my mind, but I can't really find anything on it.

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3278
Joined: May 2012

Badams6161,

"The Internet" has probably been the greatest cause of anxitey for medical patients in history.  Do not go randomly looking for the answer via Google.

A multitude of things can cause a node to enlarge or appear suspicious.  If your doctor scheduled a biopsy, then get it done.  Biopsy is the ultimate authority; there is no need to speculate in the meantime.

A hematologist or the world's leading oncologist could come on and list 200 'possiibilities' for you, but that would be counterproductive.  You will just have to wait for the reuslts of the biopsy.  I will say however that if CTs and ultrasounds can find only one abnormal node, whatever the problem is, it must be quite minor at this point,

max

Badams6161
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank you for the reply. Googling things things has been awful for my anxiety ever since I started getting doctor appointments two months ago. You're right though. I definitely need to stop looking stuff up and wait to see what happens with the biopsy.  I was thinking that it was probably something minor too. It hasn't grown in two months, and seems like it is slightly smaller.  I'm just hoping my one lymph node did something weird and it's nothing serious. Thanks again for the reply. I really appreciate it.

po18guy
Posts: 993
Joined: Nov 2011

There is simply no way to short-circuit the waiting. There are only methods of coping with the wait. Basically, keeping busy with life. Finish a project, or begin a new one. You do not want them to rush the pathology! And remember: You do not have cancer until a pathology report says you have cancer. Words to live by.

Badams6161
Posts: 6
Joined: Jul 2017

I start my next semester of college in a week so I'm pretty excited to have that to help me cope with the waiting.  I don't have cancer until they say I have cancer, I like that. I'm gonna have to keep reminding myself that if I start to worry. Thank you for the reply!

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3278
Joined: May 2012

Badams,

I like what Po wrote: do something engaging to fill your mind. Beginning college is a perfect such activity.  Do not greet old friends with "I might have cancer !"  That would only lead to further obsession with the feedback your friends would give. Don't mention the biopsy at all, except to family and perhaps your innermost circle, and any counselor you might have .

When in high school, if I had a math or chemistry problem I couldn't finish, I would start mowing the grass (at home), and solve the problem every time.  No distractions, no news, no telephone to interrupt. Mowing was a very private time, oddly enough.  Find some such activity....resolve to NOT OBSESS, which is destructive and makes things worse.

max

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