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Enlarged lymph nodes in my neck

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Hi all, I was diagnosed with kidney cancer Feb 2018, open radical nephrectomy in March. Ive had 2 clear scans but in Feb 2019 I developed an ache in my neck that has just got worse and then a swelling above collarbone. Can’t feel any lumps but an ultrasound I had this week showed enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of my neck. I am now awaiting a letter from my consultant. I’m panicking that it could have spread to my lymph nodes, I also have an enlarged lymph node in my chest but that hasn’t grown since Christmas. My friends and family are telling me it’s an infection but I don’t have a sore throat, cold or cough. 

Has anyone had the same or can give me some advice on what will happen next. Sorry for long post xx 

Lorraine - Macmillan

Hi Nickyp46,

Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community.

It’s great to hear you recovered from the nephrectomy operation last year. Having follow-up appointments and tests can cause periods of sheer stress and panic.

Whilst there can be reasons such as an infection or viruses causing enlarged lymph nodes throughout the body, the consultant needs to rule out any recurrence of the kidney cancer. As nurses we can’t diagnose what is going on, but your consultant will be aware that this is an anxious time for you waiting for the scan result.

Trying to deal with the fear of the cancer returning on a day to day basis can be difficult. Sometimes we try to protect others and minimise the worry that we are carrying. Looking at ways to try and manage the anxiety and panic may be helpful.

If you want to talk this through with one of the nurses, then give us a call on the Macmillan Support Line.

Best wishes and take care

Lorraine-Macmillan Information Nurse Specialist