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Have had tonsils removed. Having sore throat, swollen lymph node and headache. Biopsy done. Concerned

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Started 9 months ago with strep throat back to back. My tonsils were removed when I was 8 along with my adenoids to find out that they both grew back. I have had swollen Lymph nodes for 9 months, high WBC and lymphocytes and sometimes my potassium is very high. I am very tired, I have petechiae spots all over my body, night sweats here and there, ear pain with pressure and headaches. I also do not have a spleen, it was removed when I was 5. I was told at one time I had low red cells and the size of the red cellsl were half what they should be. I just now started again with a sore throat with a dry cough just started the last month. I had a bisopy done on my tonsils and lymph nodes, both came back negative for cancer but both show a consistent reactive process and I can't get a clear answer to what is going on and why I am sick. One doctor says get another biospy done and one said remove the tonsils. I just have been going to one doctor, to a new one to a specliast to another one. I am now waiting to see a disease specliast but got 3 months to wait. Im looking to see if there is something they have missed or a test maybe I should get done to get an answer. I just would like an answer instead of going from doctor to doctor, I'm going on 10 months of being sick.
Posted Fri, 31 Aug 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 11 hours later
Thanks for writing in.

Your symptoms are definitely concerning. For you, I would be considering malignancy, tuberculosis or some other chronic autoimmune process where the blood cells are getting destroyed. The removed spleen could explain recurrent infections but it would not explain anything else that you have.
To help you better, I would like to know if a results.
Awaiting your reply
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have had tonsils removed. Having sore throat, swollen lymph node and headache. Biopsy done. Concerned 39 hours later
No I have not done a bone marrow test but it has been suggested.
I thought I would go a bit more in detail on the past 9 months.

November 2011 I got strep throat, first time I had strep. Got medication for 10 days , a few days after medication was done I got strep throat again.

Strep throat went away but always had a sore throat or felt I had something in my throat. I went for an ultra sound as I have swollen lymph nodes. The ultrasound showed I had 3 cm lymph node on the left side and a 2.5 lymph node on the right side.

I have headaches daily, and pressure in my ear when I blink, swallow or cough. The ears are clear of infection.

I dont have a fever but do have night sweats here and there and sometimes during the day I get bad hot flashes and lightheaded.

I then started to see pastiche blood spots on my body. They are red then they will turn a brown color. I have them on my chest, breasts, stomach , back and legs.

I then got medication again that didn’t do a thing.

I got x rays looking for sinus infection and that came back negative.

I was sent to an ENT that found out my tonsils had grown back and were big. The left side was very large. ENT also saw my adenoids had grown back. He did some feeling around and was concerned for Lymphoma.

I saw a cancer doctor for the Lymphoma and he said he wasn’t concerned it was Lymphoma.

I went back to the ENT who did a biopsy of the tonsil on the left side. Came back negative but said it was a consistent reactive process.

I then had a biopsy done on the right lymph node that was now larger than the left side, that too came back negative but consistent reactive process.

The doctor said take out the tonsils and have them tested and I am waiting for a surgery date. They said 6 months or longer.

During all of this I have many blood tests that show high white cells, low red cells and half the size. The last two months I have now shown high potassium. Lymphocytes have also been high in count.

I am to see an auto immune disease specialist but not till late October of this year, which will make this almost one year of being sick.

I now for the last 2 .5 week have a tight chest cough where my ribs hurt, my throat is on fire and the ear and head pain has increased.

My lymph nodes are also bigger and very hard.

I can upload my test results for you, I just want to make sure that they are not see by the public people who use your site as they are personal.

Again, thanks for your time and attention with my question. I appreciate your input.
Follow-up: Have had tonsils removed. Having sore throat, swollen lymph node and headache. Biopsy done. Concerned 6 hours later
I went into the doctors today for my cough and he said I have Bacterial bronchitis . Im not sure that has anything to do with everything else, or that I just caught it becuase my immune system is so weak at the moment. I have never had bronchitis before.
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 29 hours later
Hi and thanks for providing a detailed history,

I understand your concern and I am sorry for it. It looks like all your symptoms are centred around pharynx (upper respiratory pathology) - as I said earlier infective, chronic autoimmune condition and tumour needs to be ruled out.

It was really good to know that biopsies done on the lymph node and tonsils revealed only reactive process. In such cases it is less likely to be a cancerous process. However I agree with your ENT surgeon that the next step should be removal of tonsil with adenoids. This would be both for diagnostic (excision biopsy) and therapeutic (treatment of recurrent tonsilitis) purposes.

High lymphocytes could be associated with the aforementioned upper respiratory pathology. However this along with low red blood cells needs to be evaluated. If you are worried about privacy issues, you may mail the reports to my attention (ATTN: Dr. Aparna) and send it to YYYY@YYYY

I also would like to know the bone biopsy report. So as planned consult the autoimmune expert/bone biopsy. Perhaps that should give you more clues about this problem.

Let me know if you have more concerns.

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