Reactive Lymph Node Above Collar Bone


Q: Hi i have what the doctor reckons is a reactive lymph node just above my collar bone..i have had it for nearly 7 months and it has not changed..its about kidney bean size..i have had a chest xray and full blood count done which all came back clear..i noticed the node after an upper respiritory infection..i am 56 years weight loss,itching or severe night sweats..i still do get some hot flashes as i am 2 years post mennapausal..but always have had those..have seen 3 docs all say not to worry..what do you think? thanks gina


A:   Swollen lymph nodes can cause many people to ask their doctor that some horrible medical condition is to blame. It is true that there are cases in which swollen lymph nodes can indicate the need to rule out cancer; this is usually not the case. Often swollen lymph nodes can be directly related to an active or recent infection, be it bacterial or viral. Even seasonal allergies can cause flare-ups in some individuals. I would recommend that you refrain from touching the enlarged nodes for several weeks. Lymph nodes, when regularly palpated, remain reactive. If you stop touching them and wait 4 to 6 weeks, they should resolve or at least diminish significantly. If, after this, the nodes have not improved or especially if they've gotten worse, you can get a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) for diagnosis.

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