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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Enlarged submandibular gland, and pain with alcohol?

 Jen32 - Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:19 pm

I recently wrote about a lump on my neck...

About 2 months ago, I noticed a large lymphnode in my neck. I went to the doctor about it, who gave me a round of antibiotics, and said it would go away. It didn't. Then she sent me to an ENT, who scheduled a CT scan. After the CT scan, I was told the results were "perfectly normal".

I then saw two other doctors, including my GP about the results and the "lump" again. Both told me that I was worrying excessively (even suggested antidepressants) and that it was my submandibular gland (salivary gland?) that is larger than the other side... nothing to worry about. Again, the CT scan showed NO abnomalities, and everything was within "normal" size ranges.

Then the lump began to get very sore, on and off. No other symptoms really, except fatigue. But I have 3 small children, and again, I am overweight. Therefore I contributed my fatigue to this.

The lump remains large, and sore. Then last night my husband and I were out at a birthday party, and I drank about 1/2 of my husbands drink. Almost immediately after I drank it, my lump became sore. And, within an hour, I had a piercing pain in my chest. Right where I would describe my heart to be, but I'm sure it wasn't a problem with my heart. I felt like maybe it was heartburn, but it was a very distinct spot in my chest, and the pain didn't go away for hours. It was very painful... the pain was gone when I woke up this morning.

Now my question is... I've read that this could be a symptom of Lymphoma. I am of course worried... should I continue to see doctors about this, or should I just trust the 3 that have told me not to worry anymore? What else can I do for reassurance? This chest pain when I drank alcohol really bothers me.

Please let me know what you think?

Thank you for reading this.
 Theresa Jones, RN - Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:34 am

User avatar Hi Jen32,
When the CT Scan was completed, what area was evaluated, ie., head/neck, chest/abdomen/pelvis? A CT Scan of the chest/abdomen/pelvis, would be areas recommended for study. Pet scans and lab studies are also useful diagnostic tools. Did you have any labwork completed, ie., Complete blood count, electrolyte panel with liver function study, calcium level, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, (LDH) lactate dehydrogenase, etc.? Alcohol induced pain at certain lymph node sites is specific for Hodgkin disease occurring in approx 10% of people. This of course is not to imply that you have this disorder but in my opinion further investigation would be warranted. Best wishes.
Theresa Jones, RN
 Jen32 - Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:09 pm

Thank you so much for answering my post! I really appreciate this.

The CT scan that I had was only on my neck, because of the enlarged submandibular gland.

I have a scheduled physical next Friday with my GP. I am kind of embarrassed to ask for more than just the normal tests... is there anything in particular that I should ask for? If I mention only the pain in my chest with alcohol, will this be enough information for her to move forward with another CT scan, or should I just ask for one? Because I have no other symptoms, I don't know if she'll take my concerns seriously or not. I really would like some peace of mind. Ever since I found the lump (what they think is just an enlarged submandibular gland) in my neck, all I can think about is the possibility of lymphoma. Now with the pain in my chest with alcohol... do I just tell her my fears, and let her do the appropriate testing? Is there any "for sure" tests that will set my mind at ease, or let me know either way what I'm dealing with??

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.
 Jen32 - Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:38 pm

Also, are there other issues I should consider as far as the pain in my chest when I drink alcohol? I mean, it doesn't necessarily mean lymphoma, right? It could be something else?

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