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doctors disregarding 'permanently' swollen lymph nodes.
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An_246009 posted:
Hello;

I have had swollen lymph nodes on both sides of my neck for 11 years. I first noticed them when I was 15. I have been to ENT's on several occasions over this time period and all have told me that I have nothing to worry about. Since I first noticed them, I have had no overarching symptoms. I've grown taller, gained and lost weight through normal means (lack of activity, working out); and had no sweats or any of the 'normal' symptoms. I was recently diagnosed with GERD, and the endoscopy which lead to the diagnosis found nothing abnormal in the throat or stomach. I have one near the base of the skull on the upper left neck, one above my adams apple, and two on the middle of the right side of my neck. They have all been there since I was 15, all are mobile and none of them have ever increased or decreased in size. On several occasions over the years, I've gone through several months of checking and grabbing at them - which may be contributing to their 'permanent' existence. This usually leads to a doctors visit, where I have been unequivocally told that I have nothing to worry about. No one has ever performed a biopsy. As I grow older, I am more concerned that if truly benign, their permanent presence might mask a future incidence of an infection/disease. If not benign, I am not sure what to think. Can someone live for this long with swollen lymph nodes and it NOT be benign? I know there are low grade cancers out there, but the doctors I have visited over the years do not seem concerned in the least that these may be a reason for their existence. I'm due for another visit soon, but wanted to see what the community thought. Any thoughts from the experts out there would also be much appreciated.
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georgiagail responded:
It is important to understand that lymph nodes in the neck can easily be felt and appear swollen when they are not. Most folks are unaware of these lymph nodes unless they either read about them or feel them by accident. Because you can feel them when you check for them does not mean they are swollen; rather that they are normal.

Gail


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