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Does swollen cervical lymph node indicate cancer ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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hi I'm 27 years of age, female about 44kg in weight and 5'1" tall. I had a swollen cervical lymph node for almost 4 months and it's painless,just had a weight loss of 3kg since it appeared, the last fever I had was 3 months ago.
my doctor had requested FNAC on my swollen left cervical lymph node about 1cm and I got the result and it reveals lymphocytes with large numbers of smudge cells, scattered large atypical cells and histiocytes are also seen. The background is haemorrhagic. In the diagnosis it says left cervical lymphnode: few atypical cells seen. and suggested for excisional biopsy of the lymph node recommended for precise histological diagnosis... what does it actually implies? Is it tuberculosis or cancer? thanks
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Cervical and Ovarian Cancer
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 47 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Atypical cells are usually a sign of cancer. But as mentioned, the finding of few atypical cells is not diagnostic of anything. Right now, it is too early to jump to any conclusions.

It is a bit concerning. However "complete picture can become clear only after excisional biopsy as in FNAC the background was hemorrhagic in which case it becomes difficult to identify any type of cells for sure."

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow ups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does swollen cervical lymph node indicate cancer ? 3 hours later
thanks for the answer...anyway I'm planning to have the excision of the lymph node 5 months from now since I want to do it in my place. Could it wait that longer or it needs to be done earlier than 5 months? Thanks again
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 47 minutes later
Thanks for writing back.

It is best to get the excisional biopsy done as soon as possible because sooner the diagnosis, earlier will be the treatment.

In both the cases, TB or cancer- early treatment prevents later complications. In my opinion five months is too long a time to wait for it.

Sincerely hope it will help.
Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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