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Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: enlarged node @ base of skull


 maimai - Fri Jul 29, 2005 10:46 pm

I have a palpable lymph node enlarged (confirmed by CT) in the "posterior cervical triangular". It is quite small at only 5mm. I also have 3 others (largest is 13mm) in my neck that were only discovered on CT. None of these were there 1 yr ago.

Symptoms I am experiencing include episodes of burning pain on left side of tongue and discomfort under jaw and at base of skull under swollen node as if something is there that shouldn't be.

Bloodwork over the past 3 years has been consistent with my most recent as follows:
Out of range:
WBC 3.3
Platelets 120
Grans# 1.5

In range:
RBC 4.4
HGB 13.2
HCT 37.7

Bone marrow biopsy 2yrs ago was inconclusive for Hairy cell leukemia or lymphoma which is what the hematologist suspected.

Gran% 45.5
Lymph% 47.3

My question is what could cause the lymph node to be quite swollen when I wake up in the morning and gradually dimenish throughout the day? I also get burning pain there at times. MRI shows cervical spine is completely normal. My GP suggested the node is lying over a nerve causing the pain and needs to be removed then re-do CT every 6 months for 18 months to follow other nodes.

Two surgeries last year: removal of elongated calcified styloid ligament and total thyroidectomy (benign).

Thank you for any input. Sorry my post is so long...
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:22 am

User avatar Hello,

I am sorry but something is not clear in your post. You mentioned that two years ago you had a bone marrow biopsy and this lead to your doctor suspecting lymphoma vs. hairy cell leukemia. So have you been diagnosed with any of these diseases?

I do not have an answer really for why you feel your lymph node to be more swollen on waking up other than that it could be a result of edema that results from pressure on the lymph node while sleeping.

Of note is the fact that at their current size they do not seem to be clinically significant. However, given the results of your blood picture it is advisable to pursue investigation further.

Have you had any biopsies.

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