MRI show inflamed lymph node in neck: What does this mean?

Posted by afpendergrass94 @afpendergrass94, Apr 23, 2021

What does it mean when an MRI scan shows inflamed lymph node tissue in your neck. I have had this knot in my neck behind my right ear for quite some time now and it is only getting bigger and starting to cause discomfort. I have more symptoms as well.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Head & Neck Cancer group.

Hi @afpendergrass94, inflamed or swollen lymph nodes are most commonly a sign of infection. There are many potential causes. You can read more here from Mayo Clinic.

Swollen Lymph Nodes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/swollen-lymph-nodes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353902

I assume because you posted your question in the Head & Neck Cancer group that you are concerned that this may be a sign of cancer. Do you mind sharing why your doctor ordered the MRI? Have you had a chance to talk to your doctor about the results of the MRI yet?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @afpendergrass94, inflamed or swollen lymph nodes are most commonly a sign of infection. There are many potential causes. You can read more here from Mayo Clinic.

Swollen Lymph Nodes https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/swollen-lymph-nodes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353902

I assume because you posted your question in the Head & Neck Cancer group that you are concerned that this may be a sign of cancer. Do you mind sharing why your doctor ordered the MRI? Have you had a chance to talk to your doctor about the results of the MRI yet?

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Yes I had a MRI and it showed a swollen lymph node and inflamed extranodal tissue. The knot has been there for over a year now they gave antibiotics at the beginning of this journey hoping the knot would go away but it has not and it’s getting bigger and now causing discomfort. My other symptoms are drenching night sweats, chills and then get hot, no appetite, feeling queasy, headaches, weight loss, muscle weakness for over a year now, no energy, always tired, hair loss, itchy skin

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@afpendergrass94

Yes I had a MRI and it showed a swollen lymph node and inflamed extranodal tissue. The knot has been there for over a year now they gave antibiotics at the beginning of this journey hoping the knot would go away but it has not and it’s getting bigger and now causing discomfort. My other symptoms are drenching night sweats, chills and then get hot, no appetite, feeling queasy, headaches, weight loss, muscle weakness for over a year now, no energy, always tired, hair loss, itchy skin

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Hello @afpendergrass94,

As you have been experiencing these symptoms for over a year now, have you considered asking for a referral to an endocrinologist? An endocrinologist is very skilled in understanding the body systems, more than a regular doctor.
Have you considered seeing an endocrinologist?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @afpendergrass94,

As you have been experiencing these symptoms for over a year now, have you considered asking for a referral to an endocrinologist? An endocrinologist is very skilled in understanding the body systems, more than a regular doctor.
Have you considered seeing an endocrinologist?

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I guess that would be the next place they send me. They seem to think my symptoms are coming from anxiety because they have done scans and one doctor says one thing and then another doctor says something different

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@afpendergrass94

I guess that would be the next place they send me. They seem to think my symptoms are coming from anxiety because they have done scans and one doctor says one thing and then another doctor says something different

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@afpendergrass94

Yes, an endocrinologist would be a good next step for you. It is important to be proactive and to be your own advocate when you have a hard-to-solve medical problem, especially when you say that "one doctor says one thing and then another doctor says something different." Could you share what the doctors are telling you?

Rather than waiting to "be sent" have you considered contacting your doctor's office and asking for a referral to an endocrinologist?

I would like to hear how you are doing. Will you continue to post?

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@afpendergrass94

Yes I had a MRI and it showed a swollen lymph node and inflamed extranodal tissue. The knot has been there for over a year now they gave antibiotics at the beginning of this journey hoping the knot would go away but it has not and it’s getting bigger and now causing discomfort. My other symptoms are drenching night sweats, chills and then get hot, no appetite, feeling queasy, headaches, weight loss, muscle weakness for over a year now, no energy, always tired, hair loss, itchy skin

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I had a lymph node swell in my neck in Sept of 2019. I went to the doctor a week later for a regular wellness checkup. When I told him of it and he looked at it he decided to give me a strong round of antibiotics saying it could just be an infection. He instructed me to let him know if it did not fully go away and if it didn't he would order a CT scan. It did not go FULLY away so I told him and I had a CT scan. The results of the CT scan said it was worrisome of or something like that of squamous cell carcinoma. I knew if they actually named the cancer it resembled it was probably cancer. They ordered a biopsy and it was what they suspected. Turns out it started in my Tonsil and spread to my a lymph node in my neck. Luckily it swelled up quickly which gave us an early diagnosis as I was Stage 1 / 2 when diagnosed. It did however grow from 1cm to 5cm in length 3 months but was down to the size of my thumbnail in just 10 radiation treatments. I went on to have 25 more rounds of radiation which was the worst and maybe the best thing at the same time. I also had 3 rounds of Chemo which had its own side effects. I finished my treatment in Feb of 2020 and I am cancer free today. I hope yours is not cancer and they resolve it what ever it is. Good luck and Gods Speed.

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@afpendergrass94

I guess that would be the next place they send me. They seem to think my symptoms are coming from anxiety because they have done scans and one doctor says one thing and then another doctor says something different

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My bf had a swelling on the left side of his neck. He was scoped every 3 months prior. Showed nothing. When it went to the left side of his neck. It was neck and throat cancer squamous cell carcinoma hpv 16. He waited to long. Get after this now, your doxycycline had no ideas seek help elsewhere. Mayo can help you. Let them run all the tests

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I feel as though I've been given a Runaround, as my discouragement has lead for ME to reach out on my own.
The week before Thankgiving, my throat was so soar; i feel like i loat some of my Voice. Because time is precious, I went to a CHI Clinic.
She couldn't believe how my tonsils looked. Strep Test came up negative. She diagnosed me with Tonsillitis and made prescription for Amoxicillin.
2 weeks later, when I felt like I should be Pain-free, I decided to see if my Reg Doc could see me.
He, too, was surprised with my tonsils (especially since I was already supposed to be Better with the Amox.) He said that her get me on something a bit atronger: Clindamycin.
After 2 weeks, I feel as though I SHOULD have been dancing. I was NOT.
I told them, via phone, that it feel as though I had something in my throat, that irritates and keeps me up at night. I could during the day and have some major cough attacks at night. They sent foe me to have an MRI on Dec 10th. Result on Monday: calcified nodule, which appears to be the same size as it was in a 2014 biopsy (yes. I've had this irritation for some time.), but it has since "calcified". They informed me that may be why it's bothering me now. They said that IF I want something more done or for someone took at it, to give them a call back. I waited a day to see IF I was just being a 'baby' OR if I really should get some Answers. Here's the run around: oncology won't see me because the Chart mentions "thyroid". And, Head and Neck doesn't seem to want to see me because it mentions "calcified nodules". BOTH are suggesting that I see the other. 😔
WtHeck?!? Can someone, HERE, tell me that I'm "just fine" or if they think I should be seen???
(FYI: The pic is what I took after 1 week of being on the Antibiotics.)
Thanks for ANY and ALL help.

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@afpendergrass94

I guess that would be the next place they send me. They seem to think my symptoms are coming from anxiety because they have done scans and one doctor says one thing and then another doctor says something different

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Hello @afpendergrass94

It has been a while since you posted about the nodule in your neck. Have you been able to get any help for this?
I would be interested in knowing how you are doing. Could you post an update?

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I've read up on what some have posted here, which allowed me to seek out to y'all for ANY help.
Thanks in advance.

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@concernodules

I feel as though I've been given a Runaround, as my discouragement has lead for ME to reach out on my own.
The week before Thankgiving, my throat was so soar; i feel like i loat some of my Voice. Because time is precious, I went to a CHI Clinic.
She couldn't believe how my tonsils looked. Strep Test came up negative. She diagnosed me with Tonsillitis and made prescription for Amoxicillin.
2 weeks later, when I felt like I should be Pain-free, I decided to see if my Reg Doc could see me.
He, too, was surprised with my tonsils (especially since I was already supposed to be Better with the Amox.) He said that her get me on something a bit atronger: Clindamycin.
After 2 weeks, I feel as though I SHOULD have been dancing. I was NOT.
I told them, via phone, that it feel as though I had something in my throat, that irritates and keeps me up at night. I could during the day and have some major cough attacks at night. They sent foe me to have an MRI on Dec 10th. Result on Monday: calcified nodule, which appears to be the same size as it was in a 2014 biopsy (yes. I've had this irritation for some time.), but it has since "calcified". They informed me that may be why it's bothering me now. They said that IF I want something more done or for someone took at it, to give them a call back. I waited a day to see IF I was just being a 'baby' OR if I really should get some Answers. Here's the run around: oncology won't see me because the Chart mentions "thyroid". And, Head and Neck doesn't seem to want to see me because it mentions "calcified nodules". BOTH are suggesting that I see the other. 😔
WtHeck?!? Can someone, HERE, tell me that I'm "just fine" or if they think I should be seen???
(FYI: The pic is what I took after 1 week of being on the Antibiotics.)
Thanks for ANY and ALL help.

Jump to this post

Hello @concernodules and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Your situation sounds both painful as well as frustrating! You seem to have really worked to get a diagnosis and some help without getting much help.

You mention having seen a regular doctor as well as a clinic doctor. Have you seen any specialists? Since you mention a thyroid problem, have you seen an endocrinologist? What about an ENT specialist?

If you have been seen by specialists, I might recommend that you go to a multi-disciplinary health center like a university medical school or a facility like Mayo Clinic. These types of health care centers have a better handle on difficult-to-diagnose problems because they are generally research-oriented, and they also see a lot of patients with a variety of problems, which smaller hospital systems and general doctors do not see.

Have you been to a center like this?

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@concernodules

I feel as though I've been given a Runaround, as my discouragement has lead for ME to reach out on my own.
The week before Thankgiving, my throat was so soar; i feel like i loat some of my Voice. Because time is precious, I went to a CHI Clinic.
She couldn't believe how my tonsils looked. Strep Test came up negative. She diagnosed me with Tonsillitis and made prescription for Amoxicillin.
2 weeks later, when I felt like I should be Pain-free, I decided to see if my Reg Doc could see me.
He, too, was surprised with my tonsils (especially since I was already supposed to be Better with the Amox.) He said that her get me on something a bit atronger: Clindamycin.
After 2 weeks, I feel as though I SHOULD have been dancing. I was NOT.
I told them, via phone, that it feel as though I had something in my throat, that irritates and keeps me up at night. I could during the day and have some major cough attacks at night. They sent foe me to have an MRI on Dec 10th. Result on Monday: calcified nodule, which appears to be the same size as it was in a 2014 biopsy (yes. I've had this irritation for some time.), but it has since "calcified". They informed me that may be why it's bothering me now. They said that IF I want something more done or for someone took at it, to give them a call back. I waited a day to see IF I was just being a 'baby' OR if I really should get some Answers. Here's the run around: oncology won't see me because the Chart mentions "thyroid". And, Head and Neck doesn't seem to want to see me because it mentions "calcified nodules". BOTH are suggesting that I see the other. 😔
WtHeck?!? Can someone, HERE, tell me that I'm "just fine" or if they think I should be seen???
(FYI: The pic is what I took after 1 week of being on the Antibiotics.)
Thanks for ANY and ALL help.

Jump to this post

@concernodules, I can understand your frustration at getting the runaround with the 2 departments telling you to seek a consult with another. Clearly you would like to be seen by a specialist like an ENT doc, endocrinologist or oncologist. Might you be able to write to the patient relations or patient experience office at CHI Clinic and ask them to mediate?

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