Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

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Occasional Contributor

Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Today, I saw my GP. I went with complaints of swollen but not tender lymph nodes. My right occipital node was so large and red that she thought it was a cyst at first. This is is my only uncomfortable/tender node. Upon feeling around, where I thought I'd only had 4-5 enlarged nodes, she found a whole chain of enlarged nodes leading from both occipital nodes down the posterior cervical area and into the subclavicular region. My left occipital node was almost the same size as the right one, and I couldn't feel anything there just two days ago. She did a CBC w/ differential and is waiting to schedule a biopsy because she is alarmed at the chain of swollen nodes. I also learned today that I have a birth defect (I'm 20 years old and no doctor has ever noticed it) called pectis excavatum. Essentially, my ribcage caves in slightly leaving no room for my heart and lungs, which causes my lungs and diaphragm to squeeze my heart when I inhale. I'm scheduled for an echocardiogram next week. Although I don't wish for a cancer diagnosis, I'm trying to find the positive in it, and if worse comes to worst, at least I will know that the symptoms I've had all year weren't in my head like my previous physicians led me to believe. Any personal experience with this would be appreciated. I'm not fearful or worried, more so, just interested in others' stories and curious about what to expect. TIA 

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Contributor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

I'm glad to hear investigations are underway, even though waiting for the results can be nerve-wracking.

A lot will depend on your doctor's preferred pathway. I had my first biopsy very quickly and had the results of it two days later. My doctor called in a favour and I was able to see a specialist on the same day the biopsy results were available. Further tests were conducted/arranged at that appointment.

If initial investigations indicate suspicion of malignancy, you're in for a heap more tests. If cancer is confirmed by those tests, then both further investigations and treatment options will be determined by the type of cancer involved. You will almost certainly be referred to a multi-disciplinary team to plan your care.

Those first few weeks are a bit of a blur whether you're anxious or not because they're so busy.
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Well, my blood test results came back today. Everything is normal, including the white blood cell count which means that there isn't any sign of bacterial/viral infection, and a high MCV which leads us to believe I'm anemic. We're going to wait a month to see if the lymph nodes grow and or stay enlarged and if they do, we will schedule a biopsy. Does this mean that there's a greater possibility of malignancy than I thought? My doctor had only posted the labs to my patient portal so I didn't get to ask questions.
Frequent Contributor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Hi Samsparadox,

 

I think you'll just have to wait the month and see what happens then.  So far so good but I'm sure your doctor will keep you informed next month.

 

Good luck.

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Contributor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Try not to get hooked on looking for "evidence" that your swollen lymph nodes indicate any particular thing, Sam.  Health anxiety tends to feed on itself and you really don't want to escalate yours.

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Occasional Visitor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Glad your results came back ok.
Had two biopsies on the lumps in my neck so far - no malignancy whatsoever, no nothing, but they do stick around. Hang in there, it's unpleasant but what I've learned from these past 2 years is that an illness that can't be pronounced can at least be managed.

Then one year ago my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. So mom seamlessly went from being sick with worry for me to being sick herself. I could still kick myself for not seeing the signs ("asthma", coughing) but she's a fighter and as morbid as it sounds, her battle made me less of a worrier.
These are stressful times for you and your family, and getting stressed out by these lumps will only bring you down further.
All the best and good luck.

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Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

I have an update. My throat is now swollen internally, as if there's a ball stuck in there that won't let me swallow anything. I've had virtually everything from mono tests to thyroid tests and anything else you can think of and all of my labs are normal. My doctor is sending me to an ENT now, because these lymph nodes are growing and we don't know why. Hoping to get the answers, even though I know I'm not going to be fond of what I know is inevitable. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Waiting for lab results and possible biopsy scheduling.

Hi Samsparadox, I hope you are doing ok.  Have you found out about what was going on with you or a diagnosis.  I hope everything works out for you. 
Traci-Rene’e

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