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Swollen lymph node, ear and throat soreness, dryness and spots of lips. Lymphoma?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
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Hi so I have had a slightly swollen lymph node(not visible only by touch) on the right side of my body. My ear and throat hurt like they are sore, but they are not the source of my discomfort, the lymph node is. These symptoms have been lasting about 6 months.During the first month my symptoms where a swollen lymph node and pain in my chest near my heart. My doctor ran a blood test, MRI of the brain, EKG on my heart all came back clean. But the lymph node still gets irritated and the chest pains have never left. I just assumed since nothing showed up on the test that it was in my head. But this past month the soreness in my throat has gotten worse, the lymph node has gotten warmer, and my ear gets hot, now my lips are dry and have spots (not bumps, parts of the lip are clear instead of my usually pink tint on my lips ). I still have my wisdom teeth in but I'm 28 so I don't think that could be it. plus my teeth don't hurt.. I was wondering if it might be lymphoma? The lymph node physically hurts and wont go away, just wondering what I should ask my physician since I feel silly without the results coming back negative. No loss of appetite or energy, no fever.
Posted Tue, 4 Jun 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 7 hours later
thanks for the query.

Swollen lymph node is medically called lymphadenopathy. It would have been important if you did mention the location of the lymph node whether it is in the armpit or neck etc.

However, lymphadenopathy is a symptom of many conditions including
-bacterial infections,
-viral infections etc
-tumors of lymph node ( lymphoma)
-cancers etc

Viral lymphadenopthies generally resolve within a couple of days and rarely do last for long except for chronic infections such as HIV. However, in such cases, the lymphadenopathies will be multiple and not only on a single spot.

Bacterial lymphadenopathies are generally tender and associated with fever. They produce more symptoms on the body such as weakness, fever etc.

Tuberculosis is also a possibility. However, in this case, other symptoms such as night sweats and fever, weight loss and cough will be associated.

Less commonly, tumors or cancers can be the cause of lymphadenopathies especially when it is chronic like yours being for over six months and increasing in size. But then, tumors or cancers should be associated with general symptoms such as weight loss given the duration.

In you case, given the notion of the soreness of the throat, the cause will likely originate from there and it could be infectious or tumoral.
What matters now is an accurate diagnosis and that can only be obtained from complementary exams.
You will need the following;
-an endoscopy; to visualise the throat and respiratory tract to rule out tumors and cancers
-throat swab to do a microscopy and culture in order to find pathogenic organism
-Complete blood count; to have an idea of your blood picture
-a needle biopsy of the lymph node to establish the nature of the lymph node
amongst others such as chest xray, sputum microscopy for acid fast bacilli, HIV serology etc.

A biopsy will be indispensable in the diagnosis of lymphoma or tuberculosis or secondary cancers.

Hope this has shed some light on the query. If you have more query, i will be glad to help.
Best regards
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