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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Swollen lymph nodes

(28 Posts)
notsohotmess Wed 24-May-17 11:15:05

Hi everyone, hoping someone can give me some advice as I'm beside myself with worry.

In February I noticed that my 7 year old's lymph nodes in his neck were extremely swollen. I took him to the doctors, who advised that this was very common and it was probably due to a viral infection. He also said that if the lumps were still there in 3 weeks that I should come back. Cue three weeks later, the lumps were still there, so I went back, and the doctor referred us for a scan, which we went to on the 27th March. The results came back a couple of weeks later as normal.

However, during this time and after, I had noticed that the lumps seemed to be growing. So, I went back to the doctors with my son. The doctor looked him over, and said that his tonsils looked a little red, and his lymph nodes had probably swelled again due to a viral infection. I went back to the doctors after this AGAIN, as I was not happy with this explanation, and the lumps seem to be growing, as well as a new lump the size of a pea appearing behind his neck. The doctor referred us for a blood test and another scan. We had the blood test done last week and are waiting to be contacted regarding the scan. The blood test results came back as normal. I went to the doctors this morning to discuss, and after myself breaking down in hysterics with worry for my son, she has also referred us to the ENT department.

I have been Googling (bad move, I know) and have read accounts where blood and scan results came back as normal, and the person was eventually diagnosed with lymphoma. He has no symptoms other than the growing nodes and getting very warm at night- I am unsure as to whether this is due to the warmer weather or it's connected to the lymph nodes.

Is there anyone with a similar experience who can put my mind at ease a little bit? I am absolutely distraught with worry for my beautiful son- I haven't slept properly for weeks.


Roastie1986 Wed 24-May-17 19:38:16

Hey there. My son 2.5 years has also swollen lymph nodes. Has done for about 4 week's. All started with a bad cold. He now has another cold and tonsillitis they r still.up xx

BigBroIsWatching Wed 24-May-17 21:41:23

I was in. Similar situation when my son was younger (4/5). He has persistently big lymph nodes on his neck. Had to have an ultrasound and blood teas done. It all came back ok and he still has them now , he is 8.
The only thing I have noticed, is that he may have a dust allergy; I also suffer. So I'm wondering whether they are reactive because of that? It's worth considering allergies.

notsohotmess Thu 25-May-17 13:06:28

Thanks guys! BigBroIsWatching can I ask about how big they are? My son's started off quite small, but they are now at least an inch and a half long, and shaped like a rugby ball...does this sound similar to your son's? I'm just beside myself, and feeling like my GP doesn't seem to be in a hurry to get it checked out.

butterfly86 Sun 28-May-17 22:54:06

My dd had had a swollen lymph node in her neck since Christmas, it isn't as big as your ds but shaped like you describe. Hers is just on the one side but there is one or two pea size nodes nearby. I've had her to the gp 4/5 times now and have been assured it's normal in children due to viral infections etc but I know how you feel, I made myself ill over it constantly googling and checking it I still check it but not as much now, it hasn't gotten any bigger so I try to tell myself that surely it would be getting bigger if it was anything to worry about. I am more conscious of the little things like when she's sick or has a temp etc I think is it linked and start of the worry cycle again! She's had no bloods or tests done I just have to have faith that 4 different gp's know what they're talking about! Hope it helps to know others have them too x

Starstarbright599 Mon 29-May-17 22:47:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Roastie1986 Tue 30-May-17 22:32:36

That's a really uncalled for.comment.

notsohotmess Tue 30-May-17 22:48:28

Thanks everyone for your positive comments, it does help to know others have had the same sort of thing xx

notsohotmess Tue 30-May-17 22:49:52

As for the vile troll, I can only feel sorry for you. It must be a lonely, sad life when your kicks come from trying to bully strangers from behind your keyboard. Brave, aren't you?

Starstarbright599 Tue 30-May-17 23:16:22

Vile troll?! No...

I'm a normal Mum - one whose baby has been in and out of hospital with real diseases actually. Often actually those diseases were initially dismissed as me 'just being an anxious Mum' - when I wasn't as the illnesses were real. So I do have much sympathy with people who have a 'Mum instinct' that things are wrong but drs say otherwise but honestly here -
Your ds has had 2 scans and a blood test- that have all come back normal
You admit to 'breaking down' in the gps until they refer you for more tests despite an already normal scan
There's a perfectly good reason for the swollen node - viral illnesses
You admit to not sleeping because of this

Honestly, as a mum whose child has had many serious illnesses, this level of anxiety is NOT normal and hence my original comment. Please get a sense of proportion and trust the professionals - he's had tests. Book an appointment with your GP to discuss your health anxiety and to go over your ds's results in more detail. Perhaps it would help for them to explain in more detail what has already been ruled out/tested for.

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 09:10:02

Yes, vile troll and shame on you.
You are insinuating that I am both crazy and a child abuser.
He's actually had one scan and one blood test, we are waiting for the date of a second scan to come through. This is because these lumps have been steadily growing over 4 months. I know that viral illnesses and infections can cause swollen lymph nodes, he's had a throat infection before where they came up for a week or so. This was when he was small and I wasn't overly concerned by that or any other occasion where he's been off with a cold, chicken pox etc.
But don't think it's out there to be concerned that these lumps are growing, and are now at least an inch and a half long. And yes I did cry at the doctors after reading accounts where scans and blood results have come back normal and the person had lymphoma- that's a terrifying thought and of course I would be upset and in a rush to rule it out. Again, I would say that's perfectly normal. I have discussed the results with my GP. All they could say was that they were clear, and they couldn't give me a reason why the lumps were growing. That was 'puzzling'- a direct quote from her.
Who are you to say these things to me? You don't know me or the whole story, clearly. You should be ashamed of yourself. If I did have 'health anxiety', which I don't, you accusing me of child abuse certainly wouldn't help matters.

Again, thanks to everyone who actually made a constructive comment xx

Nifflerbowtruckle Wed 31-May-17 09:27:54

My partner had a swollen lymph node in his neck and unfortunately it turned out to be testicular cancer. His was only swollen on one side though and was confirmed with an ultrasound to the testicle and a biopsy to the lymph node. One of his tumour markers was also up in his blood. The fact that his bloods and scans have come back clear is really good although I know it's terrifying not knowing what's going on.

Starstarbright599 Wed 31-May-17 11:48:16

Ok you keep being 'beside yourself with worry' after he's had two/three negative tests - no anxiety at all there

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 12:17:26

I didn't say I'm not anxious about this particular situation- of course I am, or else I wouldn't have posted. Do I have pervasive anxiety though? No. Is it justified for me to be anxious in this situation? Yes. Do I suggest you worry about your own life and stop trolling strangers on the internet? Yes.

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 12:20:50

Again, you're brave sat behind your keyboard and your anonymous username aren't you?

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 12:23:38

Thanks for your helpful comment Nifflerbowtruckle, and I'm sorry about your husband..I hope he's as well as can be expected x

verystressedmum Wed 31-May-17 13:09:28

You're just right to keep pushing until you're satisfied.
Of course it's very common for lymphs to rise and it's most likely a response to an infection but obviously it can be other things too, and it's perfectly normal to keep worrying.
What sort of scan did he have was it an ultrasound? The ultrasound can detect if the lymph is normal (as opposed to a malignant tumour) so although it can't diagnose lymphoma on its own, it gives a good indication on what the lymph nodes are.
Blood can come back normal even if there is lymphoma but there is usually (mostly) some indication like elevated white count (which will also indicate an infection) or raised ESR.

However, lymphs that are growing and new ones coming up needs investigation. It definitely doesn't mean that it's lymphoma just that it needs proper investigation.
You don't have health anxiety because you're worried!

I know all this because my dd had lymphoma but that's why I also know that it is most likely to be just raised lymphs.

Nifflerbowtruckle Wed 31-May-17 13:11:38

He's getting there notso thank you. We get married on Saturday then he starts radiotherapy on Monday. Unfortunately he is in the smallest percent of people who aren't cured straight away hmm.

One thing I would suggest is checking his entire body. You have lymph nodes throughout your body so I would check him head to toe for any other lumps or bumps which may help to put your mind at ease a little.

Starstarbright599 Wed 31-May-17 13:19:17

Op it is normal to worry and to get investigated but it really isn't normal to be not sleeping and beside yourself with worry and breaking down at the gps when he has already had investigations and it's normal.
Stop being rude to me just because I'm not saying he's got cancer from an enlarged lymph.
If you are prepared to acknowledge you are being over anxious then you can't be helped.

Starstarbright599 Wed 31-May-17 13:20:18


Starstarbright599 Wed 31-May-17 13:39:53

And honestly what would I get out of making you feel bad?! I'm not trying to upset you - I'm trying to help you and your son.

He's had scans and blood tests - anything major would have been picked up by now. You have to trust in that and relax a bit.

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 13:46:16

Thanks verystressedmum, yes it was an ultrasound- like I said, if it wasn't for the fact that they have steadily been growing and the new one popping up I wouldn't be worried so much. I do hope your dd is healthy and well again.xx

Congratulations on your wedding! Hope all goes well on the big day and your (soon-to-be) husband makes a full and speedy recovery! The GP checked his armpits and groin, but nothing there, which I took as a good sign xx

mummabearfoyrbabybears Wed 31-May-17 13:49:08

Notso im exactly the same with my children. I really feel for you. Try to be reassured by the negative test results and I hope you get to the. Patton of it soon. For the record I have had reoccurring tonsillitis and my glands are always up now. They never go down and the lymph nodes under my arms get very sore too. Just recurrent infections.

notsohotmess Wed 31-May-17 13:58:28

Me stop being rude and 'you're just trying to help'? You accused me of child abuse! How on Earth is that helpful?

Of course it's comforting that the first scan and blood test came back as normal, but again, the nodes have grown since then and a new one has appeared behind his neck. I don't think it's strange that I would want to know why this is and want a definitive answer.

I've never posted on here or any other forum before, I did so on this occasion hoping that other had had a similar experience and could tell me that all was well. As I said earlier, my son has has swollen nodes before, but only for a week or so. Not continuously growing for 4 months. ANYONE would be as concerned as I am, and they would be concerned that the lumps were growing even after scan and blood tests had come back normal, hence why I came here in the first place. I have never spoke to anyone who has experienced growing lymph nodes for this amount of time.

I certainly never expected anyone to accuse me of child abuse for being worried, or infer that I need psychological help, and the fact that you would accuse me of abusing my child because I am anxious that these lumps are growing and I want an answer as to why is disgusting.

verystressedmum Wed 31-May-17 14:02:45

Notsohot I agree, with the growth and new ones coming up I think you are right to keep investigating until you are satisfied that they are just reactive nodes.
Bloods can come back clear and an ultrasound isn't a diagnostic tool for lymphoma, although there is usually some indication from these. The ultrasound should have showed something as a normal lymph is different to a lymphoma tumour and this should be evident on the scan.
Dd is doing fine now she's in remission and is very well, thank you. She had one lump on her neck and zero symptoms and was stage 2 Hodgkins. But this is rare it's much more likely to be an infection but put your mind at rest and get it investigated.

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