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Does Lymphoma Show Up On Labs?

Mar 25, 2012

In my 11th year of being poz. Not on meds yet due to CD4 consistantly between 700-800 and vl consistantly under 15k. CD4% has been consistantly in mid-20's. I remember when I was first infected, I had swollen and sore lymph nodes all over--except for armpits. These actually lasted a few years. Haven't had swollen nodes (that I know) since.

A week ago, I noticed a had a large (about lima bean size) lymph node swollen in my right armpit. It was NOT sore. This is what caused some anxiety. When you do a search, lymphoma and HIV are the two things that pop up first. Having ones that are not sore are more indicative of something like lymphoma, according to most sites. I tried to not freak out. I do have HIV after all and lymph nodes can swell. But, I haven't had any in years and wondering why now in the armpit. I thought maybe I just have a blocked sweat gland. Went to doc. She was a little concerned about the size. She ran some blood work and did a chest x-ray.

Would a CBC show something off, if it was something more serious? I last had bloodwork in December and all was fine on the labs. I know lymphoma is more common among poz folks. Am I jumping the gun here? Would you be concerned, or think this is just something that happens with people with HIV? Are there other labs you would do? Just monitor to see if other nodes swell?

Thanks so much!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There is no specific blood test for lymphoma. Some things could be suggestive like low blood counts and elevated serum LDH level, but these are very nonspecific and could occur for a variety of medical reasons. Various scans can also point to abnormalities in the lymph nodes, but this is also nonspecific. The definitive test is a biopsy.

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