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Have swollen jugular lymph node and had breast cancer. Should I be concerned?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1722 Questions
I am 41 years old and I have what I think is a swollen upper jugular lymph node. It's been there for a while -- a few months at least. Does not seem to be growing, does not hurt, and I have not been sick. I was not concerned about it at all until I realized that it's not going away. I will get it checked but how concerned should I be? I do have a history of breast cancer so I'm a little paranoid. Is this likely to be related?
Posted Thu, 12 Dec 2013 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 29 minutes later
Brief Answer: Non worrisome as your description appears Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for the query. Is it isolated I mean single lymph node that was swollen? Most times we observe there would be more nodes that were swollen while we examine. Sometimes there are multiple nodes swollen but they attach each other and appear to be single node. At the same time we check the other group of lymph nodes like axilla as well. Suppose it is jugular lymph node. The area is drained from the tongue, tonsil, ear and parotid. So breast has no connection with it. So generally infections of these areas are common as they are exposed to external environment and infectious agents directly. So first think of infections of these areas most likely pharygitis and ear. These are well treated. In you case there seems no infection as it is there for longer time. Have you noticed weight loss, night sweats or fever during the course? If no I do not think there is something concerning. However all long standing lymph nodes need a biopsy to confirm the benignity. All the best.
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