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Developed swollen lymph node on the neck. It is painful to touch. Chest xray showed clear. Is this an infection?

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Practicing since : 2004
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I am very much worried because of my wife (33) and wanted to seek for the second opinion. She discovered today exactly a week ago a swollen lymph node on the upper part of her neck. It is slightly painful when touched, moves a bit and is probably a cm on little less in the size.
She vivited the family doctor who said that this is probably from an infection although she has not had one. The family doctor also performed chest-ray which was all clear as well as the blood count and other blood “clinical chemical” blood tests (liver, thyroid, etc) came back clear.
Naturally our scare is about the presence of lymphoma as via internet the swollen lymph node is one of the major symptoms. Please advise if this should be investigated any further or can it really be an infection? If so, how would you differentiate it from lymphoma and for how long may the node remain swollen?
With best regards
Posted Mon, 22 Oct 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 1 hour later

Thanks for writing in.
I understand your concern. However swollen lymph nodes are quite common in normal individuals and not necessarily herald the onset of serious disorder like lymphoma.
Especially if the size is less than a cm it suggests non-significant node.
Most commonly this is due to some 'unrecognised' infection which has got controlled by the body. The swelling is just a normal defense mechanism of the body. Even dandruff on the scalp may cause enlarged neck nodes.
Moreover, all the tests done in her are normal and hence I don't see any urgency. I won't investigate any further unless there is further enlargement, or other symptoms like fever, weight loss or night sweats. It may subside in another 2-3 weeks.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be happy to answer any follow-up queries.
Best Wishes,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Developed swollen lymph node on the neck. It is painful to touch. Chest xray showed clear. Is this an infection? 4 minutes later
Thank you very much for a fast reply, it is much appreciated.
Just wanted to also ask if the lymphoma is common in females of this age (33) and eventually, is it always a lost case or somewhat treatable?
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 5 hours later
Yes, lymphoma may occur at this age but usually most are curable.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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