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Non-hodgkin's lymphoma, biopsy of lymph node, atypical lymphoid infiltrate, cd20, no lymphoma. Reason?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 515 Questions
non-hodgkin's lymphoma :

in may 2008 my wife had a biopsy on a lymph node near her breast and armpit. the lab report said "findings are of an atypical lymphoid infiltrate...predominantly cd20 positive b cells showing a mild lambda light chain predominance...b cell clone... highly suspicious for involvement by a b cell lymphoma with features suggestive of a marginal zone lymphoma...

a surgeon told her she had lymphoma, but the oncologist asked for more tests after my wife pressed for them. she had vacuum assisted biopsy, which did not yield any further positive result (nor much testable tissue either) and then she had the whole node removed under anesthesia, and it showed no lymphoma.

she received no treatment. the oncologist suggested that "the tincture of time" would determine if she has lymphoma. it has been 4 years and so far so good. how likely is it that she does have lymphoma that will come back, and if not, what the heck could have happened?

thank you.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 2 days later

Thanks for writing in.
It seems that the node which was removed was non-malignant (ie, there was no lymphoma). When the entire node is removed that gives the best tissue and picture and if that is negative then I would go with that. Needle biopsies can sometimes be very misleading, especially for these low-grade lymphomas.
It has been 4 years and she is doing well. I see no reason why we would be concerned about it coming back.

I feel she will continue to do just fine!
Best wishes,

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