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What is the cause and treatment for small lymph nodesin various parts of the body?

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Practicing since : 2008
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Hi - I wonder if you can help alleviate my anxiety... I'm a 32 year old female. Back in September I noticed a collection of three small (0.5cm) nodes located close together in my groin. I'm a bit of a worrier and was alarmed by this and started feeling around for other nodes. I have one in the other side of my groin that has been there for a long time and has remained around 1cm. I then have longer thinner bumps further down my groin. These feel more like tendons or veins but one of them seems more enlarged than the other. I also have an approximately 1cm lymph node at the bottom of my right armpit and another that is just into the breast tissue on the left hand side. I visited my GP about these nodes back in September and she said that she was not particularly worried but that because my mother had breast cancer at around my age she sent me to a breast specialist. An ultrasound was performed and the radiologist said that they were normal lymph nodes. He asked me whether I'd had any infections which to my knowledge I haven't. I was starting to calm down about these nodes when I found two more nodes towards the back of the right hand side of my neck last week (posterior cervical I think). These are definitely new as i have checked the area quite recently and they weren't there. The main one is towards the bottom of my neck. It's about 1cm, painless, quite soft and movable. The other one is further up the muscle, slightly less mobile and a bit less than 1cm. These popped up on Saturday and I developed a cold on Wednesday so wonder whether or not they could be related? The only other thing that I wonder might be a factor is a deep tissue massage I had the day before noticing the node. I have also checked my underarm nodes since finding the neck ones. The one on the right seems to have moved from the bottom of my armpit to slightly further down the chest wall ( although it might be that that one has disappeared and another has popped up). I also have another new node high up in my other armpit - again it is small but seems to be embedded in other tissue. Could these be linked to shaving? In terms of my general health, I feel well and not unusually tired. I lost around 14 pounds intentionally back in the summer and my weight has stabilised at a very average 140 pounds but I have noticed that my metabolism seems to have changed and I don't put on weight as easily as I used to. My only other 'symptoms' are occasional abdominal pain (I do have diagnosed IBS but this had been a lot better in the past few years and has been slightly worse recently but not debilitating). I have had two short lived episodes of acute diarreha in the past three months which is unusual for me but both times they cleared up very quickly. My other area of concern is lower back pain. I have been told by both a GP and a physio that this is likely mechanical pain due to hypermobility as it only occurs when I am walking or standing for long periods. I realise that this long message suggests that I am a hypochondriac and I admit that my anxiety is probably disproportionate to my symptoms but these symptoms are all definitely present and not exaggerated and I'd appreciate your opinion. I have booked a blood test (full blood count) but there wasn't an appointment available until 6th XXXXXXX I suppose my main concern is some type of blood cancer such as lymphoma or leukaemia. Would the results of the fbc definitely indicate whether or not further tests should be carried out. Many thanks in advance for your time. Best wishes, XXXX
Posted Fri, 17 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for sending in your query. I do understand the situation you are in and the answers you are looking for. I have come across patients with heightened anxiety due to their bodily problems. The chief problem you are presently having is with the small lymph nodes appearing in various parts of the body, groins, posterior cervical and axillary. You might collected information online and most of it says that you need to rule out cancer in its various forms like lymphoma, leukemia and breast (since your mother had the illness). Going by the ultrasound reports the lymph nodes are not significantly showing any possibility of malignant change. As you say in your own words that these nodes are disappearing and appearing at new locations and fairly limited in size, possibility of malignancy is least. One point highlighted by you is shaving, I wonder if you regularly shave your armpits and pubic regions and that can cause small reactive lymph nodes. If you had severe cold and sore throat, then we can relate the lymph nodes in your neck but not otherwise. The two occasions of acute diarrhea which resolved quickly may be due to the IBS or any mild bowel infection. Please do not get worried for it. You are doing the right thing by getting a full blood check done early in January. This will rule out the basic blood disorders related to the appearance of cells and the blood counts. Please note that blood cancers usually cause symptoms of unexplained sudden weight loss, extreme fatigue and tiredness and constant fever. Since you have not mentioned any of these symptoms, I don't think you should worry about these conditions. I suggest you to get screening breast ultrasound and should your doctor feel necessary, an abdominal ultrasound and chest X ray would further rule out any serious medical condition. Hope this answers your query. Wishing you good health. Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
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