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Swollen shoulder, taken antibiotics and hot water bottle. Could this be lymphoma?

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Practicing since : 2004
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I have had a swollen shoulder off and on for about 3 weeks. I think it my lymh nodes by my collar bone. On the side as my shoulder my breast also aches me. They really flare up when I drink any alcohol. These symtoms started two weeks after my hand mysteriously swelled up. The hospital gave me antibotics for the hand and I considering going back for the shoulder and breast.

I have taken 3 rounds of antibotics. I use a hot water bottle during the day to help with the pain and swelling. I have taken up to 800 mg of ibuprofen and still when I wake up the swelling in my shoulder is still there. I can't even move my arm some mornings. My hand has been better for weeks. Could this be something serious such as lymphoma or does this seem normal following the hand infection (which is a mystery because I never cut it or anything). Even if it (shoulder/collar swelling) goes away for a couple of days it comes back.

I did want to mention that when the lymph node began swelling, my hand was completely healed. I just don't know what it causing the current swelling since there are no other signs of infection. So I have one aching breast and a swollen lymph node in the collar area. Is it possible to have an infection still without any other symtoms other than a very painful shoulder
Posted Sun, 29 Jul 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 50 minutes later
anks for writing in.

You have mentioned about lymph nodes in the collar bone area, how big are they, about a cm or bigger? If they are smaller (a cm or less) I would not bother about those. Even normal lymph nodes may be of this size. Sometimes infection may also lead to lymph gland swelling. It is quite possible for a hand infection to cause neck gland swelling after the infection itself has healed, as it is more due to immune reaction than anything else.

I don't think it is lymphoma as shoulder pain is unlikely to be a feature of lymphoma. In some lymphomas there may be pain over lymph gland after alcohol intake but not over shoulder.

But I feel that the pain is quite significant and needs attention. A MRI (magnetic resonance Imaging) of the shoulder may be able to find out the cause (most probably some kind of joint problem or arthritis). Physiotherapy can help to decrease pain and improve movements. I believe that your physician has examined the breasts as well as you were having some pain in breast also.

Hope I have answered your queries. I will be happy to answer further followup queries.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen shoulder, taken antibiotics and hot water bottle. Could this be lymphoma? 26 hours later
Hello, thanks for your response. I was at the doctor all day yesterday having test done. They took an xray of my chest and CT Scan of my shoulder and neck. Both test showed nothing abnormal. The blood test showed hemoglobin L 10.7, Hematocrit L 32.8, RBC Sed Rate H 25 , Lymph 30, Absolute Lymph 1.8 and RBC L 3.62. Overally, the doctor said that I have alot of inflamation within my body and he wants me to check with an autoimmune specialist. Do you second that point of view? The pain when drinking is primarily in my breast. Dull aching pain.
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 1 hour later

I don't feel that you have lots of inflammation in your body. All the reports are OK except for slightly low hemoglobin which may be due to some nutritional deficiency. Your doctor may order a few more tests to find out the exact cause.

You can certainly consult an autoimmune specialist but I personally don't feel that anything will come out of it.

Breast pain related to drinking is not something to worry about. It will probably go off on its own in some time.
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