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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: Hard lymph nodes


 katers - Wed Feb 14, 2007 9:16 pm

33 Female, I have a history of moveable benign enlarged lymph nodes in multiple locations that do not receed. I am overly concerned about two hard lymph nodes on either side of my neck just below my ears lobes behind my jaw. They are hard, not moveable and feel like a superball, one is larger than the other. These hard lumps have been there for at least a year maybe a couple. The doctor has felt them and was not concerned but ran blood tests at my request. The blood test were normal except for low thyroid. I can feel smaller moveable lymph nodes on my face in front of my ear, more in neck, and below ribs, and in groin. I am an anxious person and I worry about my health.

If the blood test are normal should I continue to pursue this with the doctor? Doctor thinks I'm way too anxious and is dismissive of my concerns. Is there an explanation of why some of my lymph nodes stay enlarged for years?

Thanks, I need some direction.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:06 am

User avatar Hello,

Abnormal Lymph node enlargement commonly results from infection / immune response, cancer.

Sometimes, following infection, Lymph nodes remain permanently enlarged, though they should be non-tender, small (less the 1 cm), have a rubbery consistency and none of the characteristics described for malignancy or for infection (hard, fixed, increasing progressively in size). These are also known as 'Shotty Lymph nodes'.


Hence nodes that continue to grow in size are significant and those that regress in size and become stable, tend to be more reassuring.

It would be more helpful if you can inform us about the blood tests that are done and their results including the thyroid function tests.

Follow up with your doctor is essential.

Keep us updated.
Best regards.
 katers - Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:39 pm

CBC, CMP, Colesterol, ANA, RF, and Sed rate all normal. TSH was borderline low. The hard lumps are not visible, only felt with moderate pressure. Lumps have been there for a year or two at least. Doctors roll eyes if I ask them specifically about them, they say it's normal.

I'm I being paranoid or should I press for a biopsy? I had a lymph node removed from my neck 10 years ago and biopsy was normal.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:21 pm

User avatar Hello,

Direct clinical examination is essential for diagnosis.

I assume that the results of examination done by your doctor and the results of the lab tests were reassuring.

In such cases follow up with your Doctor and serial examination is advisable.

If there is any increase in the size , change in the consistency of the lymph nodes, generalized fatigue, fever, loss of weight etc, you should inform your Doctor immediately and repeat all the blood tests and include LDH in the next exam.

I advise you to follow up with your Doctor.
Best regards.

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