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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Swollen nodes for a few years


 gizmogizmo - Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:10 pm

Dear Dr,

I am a 24 year old female with no relevent medical history, on no medications. About 3 years ago I discovered very swollen lymph nodes in my groin area. About 3/4 were present on both sides, they felt firm/rubbery and they were not sore.They were more marked on the right, where one particularly large node was present (about5x10 mm). I went to see a doctor who made me fell a little silly, told me I had 'shotty' glands and to stop worrying. He suggested that they were associated with shaving/waxing. I have stopped either of these, with no difference.

Since then, the nodes have persisted, if anything are now a little larger and seem to be associated with a general ache. I have a few smaller rubbery glands in my neck that have cropped up more recently.

Other more non-descript things I feel every so often included sometimes painful sex. As well, sometimes a severe, sharp pain shooting up through by vagina/anus, lasts seconds(no constipation). This pain can be so severe that I jump involuntarily if I'm sitting, but it happens only say once every few weeks, that I often forget about it. Very irregular periods. Random itchiness of my skin, every so often.

About 2 years ago I suffered terrible night sweats, every night for a few months.

Sorry about the collection of symptoms, but I feel a bit stupid going back to my GP. I watched him subtly write 'cancer phobic' into his notes, so I'm worried that will taint his, or any other doctor in the practices opinion!

But saying that, I am really worried that I could have lymphoma or something similar! Please help as soon as you can.

Many thanks.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:45 am

User avatar HI Gizmogizmo,

I think cancer is pretty unlikely. A cancer presenting with swollen lymph nodes would be very unlikely to remain asymptomatic for several years.

Possible causes include an infection with a bacteria called bartonella (cat scratch fever) or possibly an infection with a fungus such as coccidiodes immitis (valley fever). I think a fungal infection is less likely. Other things to consider would be conditions such as histiocytosis.

If you search the web for histiocytosis you'll find a lot of concerning and severe symptoms. This would not be the type of histiocytosis present for you. There are actually several types of this condition ranging from mild to severe.

I would also suggest testing for STD's if there is any possibility of this.

In cases such as this sometimes it is necessary to do a biopsy of one of the lymph nodes to find out what is causing the persistent swelling. Now that you are having some discomfort from them this may be a reasonable thing to do. A biopsy is a simple procedure.

Follow up with your doctor is important. I suspect everyone with swollen lymph nodes is at least a little concerned about cancer so I wouldn't be too concerned about this thought. Just explain your symptoms to your doctor and express your concerns.

Best wishes.

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