Ongoing swollen nodes in neck, no answers.

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Ongoing swollen nodes in neck, no answers.

by Cjbw3031 on Fri Aug 10, 2018 05:17 PM

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Over a year ago, my husband's neck nodes swelled up, mostly on one side. Ultrasounds and CTs showed several swollen glands on both sides, all inconclusive for malignancy. CT and follow up scope at ENT also showed a patch on base of tongue. All of this lead to surgical removal of a node with a biopsy and scraping of the patch. Both of those results showed inflamation, not cancer. 

Yet, here we still are with follow up ultraound a few months later showing several swollen nodes that "are amenable to tissue sampling" per the the report. Nodes are all around 1.9x0.8x1.7, for example. 

Husband is 42, heavy smoker and tobacco chewer for years, as well as moderately heavy drinking. Ongoing "smokers cough" and the swelling in his throat sometimes affects his voice (like it's pushing on his throat, like a sore throat would sound). Other bloodwork has been Ok. 

My question is whether (1) it's still possible this is cancer, and (2) what we should do, if anything, about it. The ENT is basically in the "watch" mode now that the biospy was done and hasn't requested any follow up. 

Thanks, everyone. 

RE: Ongoing swollen nodes in neck, no answers.

by Sdurnell on Sun Aug 12, 2018 05:30 AM

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There are lots of things that might cause swollen lymph nodes besides cancer.  

I don't know if it's possible it still could be cancer, but the biopsies would normally tell.  Mine weren't conclusive, so I had surgery to remove the swollen one and its mates, and that's when they found the cancer.  But if his came back negative I would think I'd be happy to go with that.

However, it would be nice to know what is causing the inflamation.

This is what you (he) can do now:  stop using tobacco altogether, and alcohol if he is an alcoholic.  There are a lot of programs and products out there to help him, and his primary care doctor can help him with it.  (If not, he should get a new one.)  This will not only improve his chances of not getting cancer, but also help him be healthier in many other ways.

Quitting smoking may help with the inflamation too, and should also help his voice.  There have been fires near here and mine is shot from spending the day outside today.

Best of luck to you both.


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