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Aster's avatar

Have you known of anyone with a mild case of lymphoma?

Asked by Aster (14915 points ) August 17th, 2012

Is it possible to have a slow growing, mild case of lymphoma (Hodgkins Lymphoma) with a soft lump near the collar bone that is there for fifteen years, no cough, frequent napping that increases in frequency for ten years, no discomfort, occasional mild night sweats and a soft lump on the side of the neck (the same side as the clavicle lump) that disappears so often that an endocrinologist is puzzled to the point that the patient has ongoing blood tests and not one doctor has ever brought up the possibility of this alleged illness in five years of testing including a neck biopsy and ultrasound of the neck plus MRI’s that all came back inconclusive? Can a person presenting with all this be ok or do you suspect incompetence in the doctors?

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Oncologists do blood tests for cancer markers and red and white blood counts.

My brother had rapid growing, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that was not diagnosed for several months after symptoms presented but after that it was patently clear.

Has the person seen someone at a first-rate Oncology/Haemotology Group? Who thinks that he might have a blood cancer? Did anyone discuss this with his PCP or his endocrinologist.

I can’t imagine anyone calling Lymphoma, however it presents, “mild.”

People do nap more as they age, of course.

If you’re not happy with your doctors, find better ones. Get recommendations from family, friends or your local hospital.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m a little confused. Has the person now been given the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma? Or, is that a guess you or the patient has now been wondering about as a possibility?

Aster's avatar

No diagnosis except mine based on their symptoms and no oncologist is involved since I’m the only person who has decided it’s lymphoma.

gailcalled's avatar

How have you “decided it’s lymphoma,” without a medical confirmation? Who benefits from that wild guess?

JLeslie's avatar

Why does he see an endocrinologist? Any chance for thyroid? Or, is it diabetes? What? Is the lump related to that specialty? Is his ESR elevated? Are they swollen lymph nodes? Do antibiotics affect the lumps? Does he have any infectious symptoms during the time of the lumps? A herpetic outbreak, feeling flu like, anything like that?

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Speaking of guessing

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I asked questions. I didn’t guess anything. Question marks on almost everything I wrote.

JLeslie's avatar

Actually, every sentence has a question mark. And, I have not edited one thing in that paragraph.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled AND, I figured out that a disgnosis of Lymphoma has not been given yet by asking questions. You seemed to just go with the diagnosis. I don’t understand why my investigatory skills are being questioned? Just collecting information to try and help the OP.

Aster's avatar

@JLeslie, thank you. “Why does he see an endocrinologist? Any chance for thyroid? Or, is it diabetes? What? Is the lump related to that specialty? Is his ESR elevated? Are they swollen lymph nodes? Do antibiotics affect the lumps? Does he have any infectious symptoms during the time of the lumps? A herpetic outbreak, feeling flu like, anything like that?” He sees an endo for diabetes, yes. Yes, one node is swollen and soft above his right collar bone and has been like that for years. He never feels flu like but has a lot of fatigue/napping. I don’t know of any doctor who has seen his lymph node. I have read a book that says there are slow growing cases of lymphoma and that watchful waiting is often appropriate; I never knew that until I read the book.

JLeslie's avatar

@Aster The thing is, I don’t think an endocrinologist is the right type of doctor if you are truly concerned about the lymph node. I know very very little about diabetes. I assume unsteady sugar levels can contribute to fatigue? We can probably rule out fatigue from thyroid since he sees an endocrinologist. I would assume the endo does basic blood tests/panels like CBC and CMP, so probably the person is not low in iron, or having some sort of red blood oxygen carrying condition that would make them tired. But, this is all assumptions based on what you have told us. Assumptions can be bad as we all know.

Does he also see a regular GP or internist? Or, uses the endo as the main doctor? I use my endo for most tests, GYN for the girly parts. I almost never go to a GP, definitely never for yearly check ups. I am not saying that’s good, just sayin’.

I always suggest testing vitamin D as I think so many people are dificient, and I know so many people who feel stronger physically when they get their levels back in the normal range. I never recommend any megadosing untill the blood tests are done and the patient works with some concrete information. Possibly test for some other nutritional dificiencies. Is he overwieght? Does he exercise? Under a lot of stress?

I had swollen lymoh nodes for about 8 years, this started 20 years ago, doctors could have cared less. But, I did have other signs of infection, I won’t go into them here. My ESR was elevated, but doctors didn’t care about that either. I finally got some treatment, mega antibiotics, and my lymph nodes in most area went back to normal. But, my situation has nothing to do with your friend except that, it is possible to have lymph nodes swollen and tender for years and for it to resolve. I don’t think it is a good thing to be like that, obviously I was sick and I believe it did some damage to me short term and long term, but just communicating what can happen. Plus, it occurs to me diabetics have a tougher time fighting off infection, so his lymph system might work very hard. I’m not sure of the science of how that all works in the body.

I would probably see a rheumatologist, just a gut reaction, if you are very concerned, or just want some answers or to rule some things out. You could see an oncologist if you are very concerned it is cancer, but most oncologists require a referrel, so you would need a docor to say they are suspicious of cancer at minimum I would think? Not sure.

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