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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Could it be something other than Lymphoma? I'm scared

 worriedflmom - Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:25 pm

Hi, I am a 36 y.o. female with an enlarged lymph node in my left axillary region. I had breast augmentation February 2007 and just prior to that, a baseline mammogram was normal. September 2007 I found the swollen node and immediately had a mammogram and ultrasound. The lump was not visible on the mammogram but was described on the ultrasound report as: Left axillary examination reveals only a tubular fluid filled structure measuring about 2 cm long and .3 cm wide. Right at the junction of the skin with the underlying deep axillary tissue. (they noted it to be likely benign, which made me happy at the time). They suggested follow up if it didn't resolve. Febuary 2008 it still had not changed at all, so I had a follow up ultrasound. Results said : ultrasound directed to the patient's area of lump in left axillary region demonstrated a well-defined lymph node measuring approx 1.5 x .6 x 1.0 cm with a hypoechoic periphery and lucent center and hila present in a reniform appearance. Impression: left axillary region lymph node in the area of palpable abnormality.
I don't know what all those terms are, but when my dr got the report he referred me to an oncology surgeon for a biopsy. I am very scared, and hoping there is a chance this could be something other than breast cancer or lymphoma? Just a glimmer of hope would get me through to my appointment next week. I haven't had any hopeful encouragement from my dr.'s staff and he hasn't been available to discuss this with me.
I quit smoking in September 2007, also found the lump in September 2007, have history of hypothyroidism (.5mg synthroid daily), 3 - 6 cups coffee daily, and run 3 miles about 3 times weekly. Had cryosurgery a couple of years back for precancerous cells on cervix.
My question: even though the lump is painless and has not changed since September, could there be another explanation other than cancer? Just need some hope while I await my consult with the oncology surgeon, but want to hear the truth, too.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:17 pm

User avatar Hello Worriedflmom,

When lymph nodes continue to be enlarged, particularly the axillary lymph nodes. Doing a biopsy will give much needed information about this.

While cancer is unfortunately a possibility that must be evaluated for there certainly are other possible causes of this enlarged lymph node. These include a subacute infection of the lymph node or some other cause of inflammation in the area.

While waiting for the biopsy results try to stay positive. Keep in mind that even if this is cancer, we are getting better and better at treating cancer and the success rates are climbing constantly so a diagnosis of cancer is not necessarily a life ending diagnosis.

Best wishes.
 worriedflmom - Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:54 pm

Thank you for the reply, I will post a follow up after the appointment. I appreciate the encouragement. I"ll try to stay positive.
 worriedflmom - Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:42 pm

Hi, I had my appointment with the doctor today, and he spent a total of about 5 minutes with me. He said he thought it would be ok to make an appointment to follow up in 4 months and see if we should biopsy it at that time. I wasn't really sure what to say, because I was so relieved that he didn't say the signs point to cancer (of course he didn't ask me any questions really so I don't know how he could draw any conclusions to that end anyway). He left it in my hands and said if I really wanted to have it removed and biopsied, we could do it now, or he thought otherwise to follow-up in 4 months. The thing is, my doctor is the one who thought I should have it biopsied, I didn't even know there was a problem with the follow up ultrasound. So it was a little unnerving to have the ball placed in my court today, as if I was the one who had asked for the appointment. I am not sure whether to just be grateful he didn't sit me down and tell me I probably had cancer, or whether to get a second opinion because he didn't ask me any questions, barely examined me at all. I had to fill out the 2 page medical history form while I was waiting for him, he never even glanced at it to discuss anything on it. Is that normal? I wonder if I should just wait 4 months or get a second opinion now. I am relieved but not totally satisfied that I should wait 4 months.

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