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Have a swollen occipital lymph node and hard lump at base of spine. Any suggestion

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10316 Questions
I have a swollen occipital lymph node, have had it for
Over 6 months, is about an inch long. Also swollen lymph nodes in my neck on both sides, but they appear to be getting smaller. Also appear to have swelling just below my rib cage, in the centre. Feeling a lot of pressure in my head, fatigue, some dizziness. No real problems with fever etc, but had one episode of feeling so hot at night I had to sleep downstairs, and one episode of feeling itchy all over. That was approx 2 weeks ago. Lots of headaches etc. I also have a lot of hard lumps at the base of my spine, that have been there for years, but seem to have for worse over the past couple months, and back feels like it is seizing up. I'm not a drama queen, and generally feel okay, but just starting to get a bit worried. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
Posted Sat, 13 Oct 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The swellings you have are likely to be swollen lymph nodes. Lymph node swellings are one of the thing which inform us about the breach in immune system. It could have been breached by micro-organisms that is infection, continuous inflammation, hypersensitivity or uncontrolled production of WBC's like in cancer.
These are all the possibilities.

Sometimes few slow growing bacteria like TB bacteria will seem to respond to the the regular anti-biotics but it doesn't and continues to grow for a longer time until the proper treatment is taken. There are many bacteria which are like this.

Even virus which doesn't have specific antibiotics can go on like this if your body's natural defence is week.

Few autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis can cause swelling of the neck which is most often due to an ear infection and fever earlier.

Similarly the cancerous cells grow in this pattern.
The best way to approach this concern is to first get a Neck USG (Ultrasound) done to identify the exact tissue which comprises the lump. This should preferably be done with a new generation 4D USG Scanner with Doppler. If the lump is suspected to be cancerous, a FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) will usually settle the diagnosis. An excision biopsy with tumor marker tests is very accurate. You may also get an otoscopy, an abdominal USG and a Chest X-ray done. This should be accompanied by routine blood tests.
So please consult your doctor as physical examination of the lymph nodes and lab investigation are must to confirm and rule out persisting infection and other causes.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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