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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cancer Topics

Question: Lt Supra Node Enlarged + Icterus of chest

 ZoomJag3 - Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:55 pm


25yo male. Smoker & drinker. In good physical shape otherwise (athletic), and:

HIV Negative
No Tuber.
No Mono
No HEP's
No travel
No Rx or OTC Rx
CBC unremarkable 6 months ago.
Family history clear of cancer's except for mother's father who passed away from pancreatic cancer in his 70's.

I had posted probably a year ago on this board about a cervical lymph node enlargement. That went away fairly quickly, however immediately following it I noticed a left supraclavicular lymph node starting to protrude. 6+ months ago it was approx. 3.5cm (visible and protruding.) I went to my doctor who seemed alarmed and had ordered a biopsy to occur a couple of weeks later (we had scheduling issues.) Due to special circumstances, my insurance provider changed before that occurred, all was cancelled, and basically forgotten about.

Now the node is about 5cm long (it is wider than two fingers together.) It is visible to the naked eye from as far as four feet away. Its not rock hard. But its very firm (feels like a equivalent sized piece of solid rubber would.) It is not attached to the skin over it, however it will not move within the surrounding tissue.

I hadn't realized it had gotten so big, I was overlooking it. About a month, maybe two ago I noticed the skin on my right pec was turning a brownish-golden-yellow color (I'm of irish-czech decent, so its extremely noticeable against my normally bright white skin.) Since that happened, the discoloriing has grown to the cener of my chest and is now moving downwards in patches, in a thin 1-2" wide line towards my belly button. I would say it looks like jaundice, but my face is normal color, and my eyes are white.

The only other symptom I have during this time has been occasional night sweats.

I do, now, understand the severity of the symptoms presented. My specific questions would be:

1. What could the yellowing of the chest be, can jaundice begin on the chest?
2. With regards to the Supraclavicular lymph node, I understand that I'm already looking at (based upon size and location) an apporoximate 50-67% risk of a cancer... But besides a typical blanket response of lymph nodes can stay enlarged due to infection, etc - I would love to hear a response that could point to other diagnoses more specific to the left supraclavicular lymph node.

Thank you,
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:28 pm

User avatar Hi ZoomJag3,

This is very important to follow up on with your doctor. Your doctor is correct to be worried since the node is a) getting larger and b) located in the supraclavicular region.

There are a few infections that can set up in the lymph nodes in this region such as tuberculosis or other mycobacterium infections.

Unfortunately, this is also a presentation of cancers. A biopsy will help definitively answer this question. This lymph node chain is one of the places that abdominal tumors can spread to.

Regarding the jaundice I am stumped by this. It would be difficult for jaundice to present this way. Checking your bilirubin level is a good idea although I really don't think this is from elevated bilirubin. I suspect that this probably is related to what ever is causing your lymph node enlargement.

Best wishes.

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