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Hi , i appreciate you are probably very busy and sorry for bothering you.
About 6 weeks ago i noticed a large painless swelling on one side orally at the back of my throat, with slight enlargement of one lymph node. i called 111 who told me to go to urgent care. Despite my protests that it wasnt- the doctor diagnosed tonsillitis and prescribed penicillin for 2 weeks.
The antibiotics did nothing, so i called my GP who referred me, and ive been seen by two consultants since then who think it is 'extremely likely' to be cancer with secondary spread to the lymph node. The second consultant has been very proactive and ive had CT scan, biopsy of the lymph node and an MRI in the space of three days.
The site of the biopsy has swollen up quite a bit in response to the core biopsy. I did mention it to the doctor when i went for a CT who told me it is just bleeding a bit due to the biopsy and would reabsorb eventually, and sure enough i am getting a very fetching black/yellow bruise all over my neck area (abour 20x10cm area).
This may be a silly question, but i know cancer spreads in blood, if the lymph node is cancerous which my second consultant seemed very confident of (he put it as diagnosis is to determine the type) will the resultant bleeding from the biopsy spread it around more?.
Also is it normal to have bleeding after a core biopsy?
Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Louise and I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists here on the Support Line.
It's not a bother at all. It’s really important to have the information you need, and we are here to offer information about the types of questions you are asking.
It’s normal to have some bruising and soreness after your biopsy. If you are still experiencing bleeding you should contact 111 today, in case the bleeding needs to be assessed. Make sure you mention any soreness and bruising as well.
Sometimes people worry that a procedure like a biopsy that causes bleeding can move cancer cells around the body. Research has shown that the likelihood of this happening is rare. Overall, biopsies are very useful for identifying and treating cancer, so the benefits outweigh the risks.
It’s good that the consultant has been proactive, it can make things easier knowing that everything is being done as quickly as possible. Once the consultant has all the information from the biopsy and scans, a group of health professionals will meet to discuss the results and plans of care. Following this you should be contacted with an appointment to speak with the consultant.
It’s useful to prepare for your appointment by writing down questions to ask so you get the information that’s important to you. If you need to discuss anything after the appointment you can always get back in touch with the healthcare team via the medical secretaries.
Waiting for results can be worrying. Sometimes it can help to talk to others. Some people find it helpful to share experiences with others in a similar situation. You can find this type of support from our online community group you have joined.
You can also call us. One of our nurses would be happy to talk things through with you.
Louise R - Macmillan
I haven't much else to add other than to say thanks for the information, i think i am panicking about everything as at 47 i hadnt expected to be dealing with this.
I really appreciate the advise- my dad dedicated much of his later life fundraising for macmillan because of the wonderful help your charity gave when his daughter got cancer- you do a wonderful job
Thank you for your reply. I’m glad you found the information helpful.
Waiting for your results and a treatment plan can be the most difficult time. There are so many unknowns and this is when your mind can take you down some dark paths. It’s important to stay focussed and take it one step at a time. Don’t feel like you have to go through this alone.
Sometimes it can help to talk to someone who isn’t connected about how you’re feeling and what to expect. It’s completely natural to be feeling this way. Remember, we’re always here for you and there’s never a silly question.
Wishing you all the best,
Cancer Information Nurse
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