Skip to content
Includes Expert Content
What does prominent lymph nodes mean when seen on a CT Scan?
avatar
tishienaenae posted:
I went to an ENT specialist to have my ears checked since I was having trouble hearing even though I wear hearing aids. The hearing aid specialist said I did not need the volumn turned up.Thankfully the ENT doctor only had to clean built up wax from my eardrum. I've never had a buildup before in my life. While there I asked him to examine the lump beside my ear lobe on my cheek near the jawline which I thought was a fatty tumor. He said it wasn't and wanted me to have a ct scan. The results showed no mass although prominent lymph nodes. What does that mean? I was starting with sinusitis but not the day I was in his office. Could that have anything to do with it? I had never had sinusitis before in my life and this was a pretty bad case of it since I went to a Quick Care facility and have been on antibiotics for 10 days.
I do not have an appointment with the ENT doctor until the first of the year which was scheduled when I was there the first time. It must not be anything serious or I would think he would want to see me sooner.
Any response to this would be helpful.
Thank you so much.
Tish
Reply
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Since I do not know anything about you, Tish....or your medical history, have any way of examining your lymph node, or even review your CT scan, it is very difficult for me to blindly offer you the kind of reassurance you need over the Internet.

Lymph nodes react (become enlarged or prominent) in response to infection and/or inflammation some where in the immediate areas. In your case, it could be from the sinusitis, but this is just a guess. I have seen prominent lymph nodes from infected pierced ears, mosquito bites, and acne, so it does not have to mean this is a serious finding. As a matter of fact, based on your negative CT scan, an exam by a specialist (an ENT is a head and neck surgeon), it is probably nothing worrisome. I know you are worried about the Big C. Some people are so worried that can't even say the word cancer. I suspect if your ENT was concerned, he would have arranged a biopsy. By waiting until January, he is giving this node a chance to resolved spontaneously (which, they often do).

So, please don't overly-stress out about this vague finding. Trust that your ENT has your best interests at heart.
 
avatar
tishienaenae replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate what you had to add.

It may also have to do with the fact that I had a cold a few months ago and have been coughing and wheezing since then and it has only gotten worse since the sinusitis. All of it together may have caused the problem.

Yes, of course I am concerned about the "Big C" word since cancer killed my mother and two sisters. Three different types of cancer I might add. I also went through yet another type with my husband who survived, thankfully.

Again thank you since I do feel better about it and am not going to worry about it.

I appreciate that you are a caring doctor and are willing to give of your time to answer questions such as mine.

May God bless you,
Tish
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to tishienaenae's response:
You are welcome, Tish....and your concerns are very justified.

Once you get this problem thoroughly evaluated, I suspect you will be able to relax. Most of the time, prominent or reactive nodes have an identifiable source, and fortunately for most of us, that source is not sinister. You can't ignore these issues, however, since cancer can be sneaky, but the nodes of cancer tend to feel different to a seasoned examiner, act differently, and appear differently on imaging studies. If there is any doubt or lingering fears, having a biopsy would be the next step if your doctor feels it is medically-necessary. Watchful-waiting is a common therapeutic approach as well.

Hang in there. Follow up with your doctor and don't let dwell too much on the worst-case scenerios.
 
avatar
tishienaenae replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you again for your helpfulness. At least you have taken the anxiety away.

The follow up appointment may be when I will get a biopsy which my doctor had suggested that he may do that after the ct scan. I will know more after the first of the year.....which will be upon us before we know it.

Again thanks and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Tish
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to tishienaenae's response:
I will wait to hear your updates....and a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

Every illness and every medical condition has an anxiety component, so that part is "normal", too.


Helpful Tips

FAQ Tip #2: Tonsilliths and Cryptic TonsilsExpert
People are often puzzled by white accumulations in their tonsils. Some feel they have Strep, yet they do not really have a red, sore ... More
Was this Helpful?
18 of 26 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.