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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: hard cervical lymph nodes increasing in number- suggestions?


 Lana - Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:03 am

I have had a firm painless lump in my neck for several years now. I'm not concerned about this one, but over the last couple of months I have noticed new lumps in the same area. They are on the left side of my neck - 2 or 3 hard lumps in what I believe are called the posterior lateral cervical lymph nodes and one stony hard lump about 1 to 1.5cm in size in the internal jugular nodes. It's difficult to tell what size it is, so this is just my best guess. I can sometimes feel what seems like another lump in the left supraclavicular area, but it's very difficult to feel anything in there so I'm not sure if I'm just being paranoid about that one. I have seen my GP who seemed concerned about them and has referred me to an ENT specialist - I don't know how long I will have to wait for an appointment...
I have also been having trouble with my stomach; I am having odd pains in just one spot - about 1 to 1.5 inches above my belly-button and in the mid line. This has been pretty constant for the last couple of months, although it seems to come and go throughout the course of the day. It gets worse when I eat or drink alcohol and I often feel quite sick. I mention this because they have occured at the same time and my GP did wonder if they might be related. She has also arranged for me to have an ultrasound of my stomach.
I am posting here in the hope that someone will be able to give me their best guess on what this might be, or what the signs and symptoms seem to suggest. I am not expecting a diagnosis over the internet, I would just like to have the opinion/guess of someone slightly better qualified than a Google search! :)
I know the specialists I am going to see will have a much better idea of what this is, but the waiting is very difficult, especially with Google at my fingertips...
I hope someone can reply soon with some possible suggestions.

Thanks!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:57 pm

User avatar Hi Lana,

With the internet so readily available it can be difficult to tell what is good information and what is not, as I'm sure you've discovered. I'm sure you've discovered that if you search for swollen lymph nodes one of the first things that comes up is cancer. While this is true, it is actually a bit lower on the list of things to think of first.

The posterior cervical lymph node chain of nodes will commonly become swollen some during viral infections. This is generally the most common cause of enlarged lymph nodes. A viral infection can also cause some gastritis that may be the source of your stomach pain.

It is a good idea to continue to follow up with your specialist appointments to get a full evaluation. If there is concern about the nodes, a biopsy can be done (a very simple procedure) to find out for sure what is going on in the lymph nodes.

Seeing a GI specialist may be helpful if your stomach pain continues.

My colleague, Dr. Fouad, has written a very good article on swollen lymph nodes that you may find helpful. It can be found here.

I hope this helps some. Best wishes.

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