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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: worried about lymphoma


 reallyworried13 - Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:02 am

Hi I'm a 23 year old female and I have had problems for 3 years now. I have fixed hard lymph nodes on the left side of my neck, along with one on the back of my neck(this one is about 3-4cm big). I can't tell how big the other ones are because they're all stuck to each other so it's hard to tell them apart. They don't move, are painless, and the big one seems deep and very attached to the neck. I also have one under my under arm, one in the left cervical area, and recently I found a quarter sized lump in my right breast tissue(I know its possible its fibrocystic tissue, but again this lump is hard and fixed). The first symptom was just the one swollen lymph node on the back of my neck that appeared out of nowhere(I never had a cold or infection of any kind; in fact back when I was 18 and had mono I never had any swollen lymph nodes!) And then I had gotten a few more. And then my other symptoms began. I have had unrelentless fatigue for 2 years, chest tightness/pressure and pain, sweatiness, chronic infections with fevers(this year so far I've had 5), chronic yeast infections(I had 8 in one year)upper back pain, dizziness, headaches and sinus pressure, itchy legs and a red itchy rash below my stomach(maybe a yeast infection that just doesn't go away?) a dry cough(it could or could not be related to smoking) sharp stomach pains that radiate into my chest as well as upper right stomach pain, and occasional pain down my arm. And these past few weeks I have been very weak. I've been to a cardiologist who did a number of tests to rule out heart problems. I've been to a neurologist(no neurological finds) and reumatologist( I never followed up with him though) as well. So the first PCP I had said I probably have chronic fatigue syndrome. (key word probably; that's not a definite diagnosis) She never thought my lymph nodes were anything. She seemed annoyed by me. Very careless. So recently I switched doctors. My new PCP ordered chest and neck ct's as well as an ultrasound of the right breast. She did feel the big lymph node on the back of my neck. Anyway all in all I've had countless CBC's, ANA, reumatoid factor, HIV, hep., thyroid, lyme(three times), and a chest x-ray all of which are negative. I've been to the ER two weeks ago(they did a bunch of blood tests, all fine) because of high blood pressure(145/104) and weakness in the legs(I could barely walk). No history of high bp. I had the ct scans done 6 days ago and I am anxiously waiting for results. I am just afraid that the tests are going to come back and I am just going to hear those terrible words that everything is fine(because it definetly isn't) I know that sounds odd but I don't care what I have I want an answer and fast. I know my condition progressively is getting worse and I feel like no one has been listening to me. I know that I either have cancer or an autoimmune disorder. But because my symptoms first started with the enlarged lymph nodes and then the fatigue and then the chest tightness, and then followed by the rest, my question is this: Do I have legitimate reasons for thinking I have cancer? And if my tests come back inconclusive, should I still have a lymph node biopsy anyway? And if so, how would I ask my doctor without sounding crazy? I appreciate any help. Thankyou.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:01 pm

User avatar Hi Reallyworried13,

Given that the nodes have been present for 3 years it is less likely to be cancer. Most cancers that are showing signs in lymph nodes will progress faster than this.

I would recommend you discuss with your doctor about having a lymph node biopsy done. This is generally a very simple procedure and can give a wealth of information about what is going on.

Best wishes.

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