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Author Topic: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?  (Read 50957 times)

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Offline Elephant

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What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« on: March 02, 2011, 03:25:44 PM »
I have had enlarged lymph nodes (about 5 or 6) in my neck for about 5 years now, i got them when i was 13 after i had an ear infection. They are the cause of my anxiety, sometimes i will start to get really scared for no reason. They're movable and not growing, the biggest one is about maybe 1.5cm the others are about the size of a pea. I have no Fatigue or Night sweats. I have had this problem with my back and scalp, every time i get hot or exercise they will start to itch, and if i look in the mirror after my back has a few little red itchy bumps.

Now, I googled symptoms for Lymphoma and lo and behold itchy skin was a symptom. I'm so positive i have it. That or maybe Stomach cancer.......
 

Also i think the itchiness only happens in winter, it's very cold here in winter and very humid in summer.

:sick0002: ugh.


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Offline jerseygirldv

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »
My doctor told me that cancer lumps are rock hard and immobile. Also the itching due to lymphoma is not isolated to one part of the body since the reason for itching is because the lymph nodes secrete a toxin into the blood which makes your entire body itch. So if only your scalp is itching, it's not a need to worry.
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Offline benefit

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 03:38:09 PM »
if you had untreated cancer for the past 5 years, you would probably be dead. in the medical community, they want to know about new and or changing symptoms... also, i thought that i have had enlarged lymph nodes and a doc checked them and said they were not enlarged, so are you sure you even know how enlarged nodes feel?
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Offline revolution724

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 03:40:26 PM »
Hi Elephant,

I don't think many or any of us really know what cancerous lymph nodes feel like, and it probably wouldn't help us if we did.  If you've had the swollen lymph nodes for several years, they probably don't have anything to do with a serious illness - because you would have other symptoms by now if they did, worse ones.  Red, itchy bumps after exercising are common with heat and sweat and the natural bacteria on your skin.  Many people get itchy skin in the winter, because the air is drier than it is in the summer.  Dry skin gets itchy. 

The way I try to think about cancer (with varying degrees of success, but nevertheless) is -

- if it's been there for years, it probably isn't cancer
- if it went away or hasn't gotten worse, it probably isn't cancer
- if it's the same size now as it was last year, it probably isn't cancer
- if I put lotion on it and it got better, it probably isn't cancer
- if it's just barely noticeable, it probably isn't cancer
- if I tell a friend about it and he or she says he or she had the same thing before, it probably isn't cancer
- and also people do not tend to drop dead in the middle of the supermarket or sidewalk.

I think you are okay.  I've heard of people's lymph nodes swelling with illness and never going back all the way to the size they were before, and they were fine.  That's not unusual.
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Offline floridaguy65

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 03:41:15 PM »
Hi E:) With HA, our perception of what something might feel like is filtered through our anxiety, so many times we are pretty far off base when it comes to "diagnosing" ourselves. Our "self-diagnosis" track record, when in the grips of HA, is HORRIBLE, to be kindly blunt:). So for HA peeps, it's best to leave all medical stuff up to the Docs..and then work on trusting the diagnosis the Docs give us, which is a whole 'nother issue, in itself:) I'm sure you can get some general info about lymph nodes from this forum which can be beneficial, if you're able to use the info as only a guidline, but again, with HA that is often difficult, as well.

What have your Docs told you so far? You're 18-19 yrs old?

There is hope and there is help for HA:)

Peace and Feel Well:)
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Offline Elephant

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 03:52:56 PM »
Hi E:) With HA, our perception of what something might feel like is filtered through our anxiety, so many times we are pretty far off base when it comes to "diagnosing" ourselves. Our "self-diagnosis" track record, when in the grips of HA, is HORRIBLE, to be kindly blunt:). So for HA peeps, it's best to leave all medical stuff up to the Docs..and then work on trusting the diagnosis the Docs give us, which is a whole 'nother issue, in itself:) I'm sure you can get some general info about lymph nodes from this forum which can be beneficial, if you're able to use the info as only a guidline, but again, with HA that is often difficult, as well.

What have your Docs told you so far? You're 18-19 yrs old?

There is hope and there is help for HA:)

Peace and Feel Well:)

Yes I'm 18, I've never went to the Doctors because they have never bothered me and they're not growing, small and i don't have any other big symptoms. I tell myself this all the time, if it was undiagnosed cancer i would be dead by now but i just can't keep the thoughts out of my head. I'll go to the doctors soon as i need a medical test anyway. I just know they will find something, i don't know what but i know it will be something life threatening.


Thank you guys, i read on some website that 50 - 80% of swollen lymph nodes were cancer. I know that is a lie but i can't stop thinking about it.
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Offline mdbhoy1888

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 05:53:11 PM »
50-80 % ?????? You must have read lies.com ! 2 different medical studies found that 0.4% and 1.1% of swollen nodes are cancer. Yours are NOT CANCER, lymphoma nodes are big (usually over 2cm) and grow larger over time. I have seen 2 haematologist oncologists and i know my fair bit about lymphoma, you dont have it
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Offline mdbhoy1888

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 06:55:04 PM »
A 17 year old boy had lymphoma. His node was originally 2.5cm. After 10 months it had grown to 14cm! He was easily cured as lymphoma is very treatable. Trust me you dont have lymphoma
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Offline jojo1976

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 09:05:00 PM »
If they are small and moveable, they are not cancer.  If in 5yrs they haven't changed, they are not cancer. You said yourself, they enlarged after you had an infection - that is normal. My daughter has huge ones on her neck I freaked out about - they are not cancer.
BUT - if you keep messing with them you will piss them off and then they WILL get swollen and bigger and then you'll really freak out, but it still won't be cancer.
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Offline Uhdenied

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 09:15:08 PM »
Stress can induce lymph nodes to swell as well due to muscle tension and irritation. I was 18 and worried about brain tumors. Due to how stiff my neck was and how much tension I was carrying, my lymph nodes in the back of my neck near my skull were huge.

I'm 23 and still alive, ;P
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Offline il_camerlengo

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Re: What do cancer lymph nodes feel like?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2011, 11:40:51 PM »
Swollen lymph nodes are usually initially brought on by an infection, and this is a GOOD thing.  When the lymph nodes swell it means your immune system is making lots of B-cells that are going to go and help fight the infection.  Sometimes once the lymph nodes get swollen a little bit, they stay somewhat larger even though the initial infection is long gone.  Lymph nodes that are cancerous are usually HUGE and like many other folks have said it is usually a rapid change from small to large. 

That being said, I understand your fear.  I have had some swollen lymph nodes in the neck since childhood as well (and I'm 33) and every now and again I still go through a cycle where I think there must really be something wrong with me.  The advice from revolution is great, all those points are exactly what I tell myself in some form to curb the health and cancer anxieties when they start cropping up.
If you are super worried, let your doctor know by all means, but once he or she tells you there is nothing to worry about, don't let it run your life!!  ..And 50-80% of swollen lymph nodes are NOT cancer.  That is total crap!
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il_camerlengo

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