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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Swollen Lymph node and chest/back pain

 angryt - Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:52 am

I'm a 25 year old female. About 3-4 months ago I noticed a hardish lump beneath my right ear, just on my jaw. I hadn't been ill, had a cold, or had a sore throat. The doctor gave me some antibiotics but I had to go back when i started get pain in upper back - around my lungs. They did a full blood count, ESR, thyroid, liver and kidney test, and monospot, all negative. The back pain has got worse, and is now chest pain too, the doctor says my chest is clear though, also i have pain in my left side under my ribs which wont go away.

The lump is hardish and doesn't hurt to touch, but aches occasinally and all the way down my neck and the node on my collar bone aches sometimes too. I am exhausted and often in great pain, I have a fever that comes and goes and i wake up in the morning drenched in sweat even though it is freezing cold.

The doctor just says its a virus, but if it was wouldn't my white count be up? Should I be worried about this? I've never had this problem before, and I can't understand why i'm getting worse not better. Somedays I can cope, but some days I am so bad I can barely walk, especially in my chest and back. Please help.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:08 pm

User avatar Hello,

The lump you feel below the ear is mostly an enlarged lymph node. These nodes are commonly enlarged when the areas drained by them (ear, throat,teeth, oral cavity, skin around etc) are inflamed or infected. Sometimes infection or inflammation is mild and pass unnoticed.

So, lymph nodes may enlarge and regress in size after recovery with no prominent symptoms and signs. Repeated infections or inflammation in these parts make the lymph nodes more enlarged and more easily felt. They are known as non specific reactionary nodes that are small<1cm, mobile, soft to firm and are painless.

Nodes that continue to grow are alarming. Having symptoms like fever, night sweats may signify infection like viral infections, however being that prominent is considerable and should be investigated to exclude any serious causes.

Simple blood picture, ESR and LDH may be helpful to start with.

Serial clinical examination is essential to exclude any alarming signs.
I would advise you to follow up with your Doctor and to discuss with him your concerns.

Pleas keep us updated.
Best regards.
 angryt - Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:00 pm

I back to the doctor and spoke to him about my symptoms and that my blood tests were negative. Turns out they weren't fine at all, he said my white cell count was high and he has no idea why they told me otherwise, and that it had been up on the last test also. Why would they say it was normal when it wasn't - twice? He is sending me for a chest xray and a ultrasound of the spleen. Just glad something is being done at last, he is the only doctor that was willing to speak to me like an adult and not a child.

I still can't believe they lied to me!
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:23 pm

User avatar Hello,
I am glad you are satisfied with your current physician, but just a note; your previous doctors probably meant it is normal to have your count mildly elevated when you caught infection. Would you please inform us about the results of your last CBC as written in the report, so that we can give you a more convenient openion.

When changes in the blood count persists and no clear cause is found, further investigations are mandatory. So, I do not feel upset about your previous visits and do not worry yourself thinking there might be any delayed in your investigations or management.

It would be however more helpful if you can inform us about the results of your last CBC as written in the report, so that we can give you a more convenient openion.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.
 angryt - Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:26 am

Hi, took me a while to get my report as they don't usually give them to patients here. My latest blood resusts are as follows

Eosinophil Count: 0.46
Total White Cell Count 11.6
Red Blood Cell Count 5.13
Haemoglobin 14.6
PCV 44.3
MCV 86.4
MCH 28.5
MCHC 32.9
Platelet Count 404
Neutrophill Count 6.96
Lymphocyte 3.60
Monocyte 0.58

ESR 11

Blood Film Occasional reactive lymphocyte

My white count has gone from 9.8 to 11.6 over the last 3 tests, my platelet count was 431 orginally and has now dropped to 404. My Neutrophil count was originally 4.5. My lymphocute has been on the up from 3 orginally to 3.6 now. My ESR was oringally 13 and is now 11.

I'm still very unwell, actually worse, my blood test seem only slightly off though. Could this still be a very long long virus? Or is there likely to be something much worse going on?

I have to wait 8 weeks for a scan of my spleen! Considering the pain i'm in, its annoying.

Thanks for all your help
 matthewdm - Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:46 am

Hi, I have been going through some similar stuff. Can you update your situation?
 angryt - Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:01 am

I'm still very unwell, some days I'm ok, but others I can't even get out of bed in the morning. I'm still waiting for my ultrasound, its been six weeks!! The doctors fob me off, admit they have no idea whats wrong, and I have spent all my time researching possibilties. I can say what its probably not - it not prob been a virus or my white cell count would be low not high, it not autoimmune - same thing. It could be lymphoma still, but I don't think so, I'm still thinking some sort of infection, possibly, but where and what I don't know. What are your symptoms and what have you had done matthew?
 angryt - Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:32 pm

Hi, sorry to post again, but i'm still in a lot of pain, my ultrasound came back fine and now the doctor is refusing to do any more tests or treatment. He says i'm fine, and imagining it, but I'm not the type to just go to the doctors for no reason and before this i've maybe been 4 times in several years. I still have chest/back pain, constantly, pain in my upper left side, sweating at night, my neck lymph nodes ache, especially at the base of neck/almost at my collar bone, but I can't feel any other nodes there.

I also have a recurring ulcers in my mouth. My lump below my ear, is still there but small, and have a constant cough...surely something is wrong. I need to know what to do. Do I listen to my doctor and hope it goes away? Its been 6 months now; or do I need to make sure if someone could please give me some input, I'm fed up with being ill and I'm even dieting and forcing myself in my exhaustion to exercise just in case its because I'm overweight. Please someone give me an idea what I should do!!!

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