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My lymph nodes; am I prone to lymphoma
Mar 1, 2001

Should I assume that, because my lymph nodes seem to play a part in each of my illnesses, that I may be prone to lymphomas?. I was in hospital in September with bacteremia, and last week with giardia. In both cases, my lymph nodes swelled. I have had one removed from my neck because it swelled up like a ping pong ball. Your thoughts, please. Regards, Robert

Response from Dr. Dezube

Dear Robert: You ask a very interesting question. I do NOT believe that you are more prone to lymphoma if you've had lymph nodes that come and go, even if they are ping pong ball size. There's actually not much in the medical literature, which addresses your question. There was one article which described how patients with recurrent EBV infection (a type of virus) are prone to lymph node swelling and subsequent lymphoma, but this does not really pertain to you. I believe that it is a healthy sign to have lymph nodes swell in response to infection. Lymph nodes should be biopsied if they are way out of proportion to other nodes, are persistent, and associated with severe systemic symptoms (fever, chills, weight loss, and so on). I've had many patients in my practice, whom I have followed for almost a decade, who have recurrent lymph nodes, many of which are huge; yet they have not developed lymphoma. Based on what I hear from you, I would not overly worry. Hope this helps. BD.

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