• Remove lymph nodes?

    Asked by Jalemans on Monday, September 22, 2014

    Remove lymph nodes?

    This is not so much a question as a thought, but please chime in if you have any thoughts.

    I have been thinking a lot since I met with oncologist last week about swollen lymph nodes... I will get biopsy on Friday & still hope it isn't my cancer, but...

    Anyway, onc initially wanted to wait 2 months & see if lymph nodes continue to grow, but I said I wasn't comfortable waiting the 2 months & would like to know so she scheduled the biopsy.

    She said if it was the cancer it had probably already spread to other parts of my body so they wouldn't remove the nodes. She also said that if they did a scan in a couple months & didn't see cancer elsewhere they may then consider removing the nodes.

    I am thinking if there is cancer in the nodes they should remove them now. Since the cancer is aggressive,waiting doesn't seem like a good idea. There is no current evidence of the cancer elsewhere at this time so maybe it is elsewhere & maybe not. Besides removal, the cancer isn't treatable.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • cam32505's Avatar

      So, it sounds like the best case scenario is if there is no cancer in 2 months, they might remove the nodes. I can tell you that lymph nodes can be swollen for reasons other than cancer, not that it's a lot of comfort when you've already had cancer. My sister has a couple of groin lymph nodes removed when she was only 17 years old, and they weren't cancer. Maybe you've already had some lymph nodes removed due to your cancer, which is making the remaining nodes have to function more than normal. I worry about lymphedema with my uterine cancer surgery because they did have to remove nodes (only 1 had cancer, thank goodness). But, my cancer had already spread to my ovary and 1 lymph node. So, I understand your impatience with wanting anything resembling cancer out of your body. Hopefully, they will just be swollen and nothing more than that. Take care.

      about 7 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar

      That is an imporant question. The lymph nodes can help the cancer spread to other parts of the body. If they test positive for cancer at biopsy, I can see why you would want them gone. But, taking out lymph nodes does create other problems, such as scarring and possibly lymphedema. I can also see the doctor's point. If the nodes are that full of cancer cells that it's causing them to swell, the chances could be that some bad cells have already traveled to other parts of the body, and taking the nodes out would be after the fact, kind of. I don't want to scare you, just trying to weigh the evidence for and against. Sending healing thoughts your way.

      about 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      The Cat is probably OUT OF THE BAG by now. IF only a few cells get into the lymph system they go immediately into the blood stream and IF they land anyplace at all or in lots of places they just do what cells do.....divide but much faster than normal cells and ALSO don't get the memo to stop at a certain point. It SUCKS but that's the way it is. The only REAL cure at that point is THE Body turning things around.....Chemo can be used to poison EVERYWHERE and hope a lot of them die BUT if just one or two cells are left they just start the horrible pattern over and over and over again. This a malfunction of our Immune System and short of fixing that there is NOT that much in the long run that can work. BUT many do manage their cancers for a short to long while SO......?????????? The cancer is Immortal but it eventually outsmarts itself and kills us and in the process kills itself....ugh!

      about 7 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      If they are cancer, the chemo didn't work & there isn't other chemo that will work. Radiation doesn't work. The only "therapy" is to remove the cancer. Short of that, they give me 6-12 months. I figure there is currently no evidence of cancer elsewhere, so if there is cancer in the nodes removing them now could remove the cancer & give me some chance. Some chance is better than no chance, right? If they wait, if the cancer hasn't spread as of yet, it certainly could do so while we wait, right?

      about 7 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      I understand that removing the cancerous nodes could cause problems, but Not removing them will definitely mean death (if they are cancerous).

      about 7 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar

      What treatment options are available for you?

      about 7 years ago
    • Jalemans' Avatar

      Keith, no viable treatment except to remove the cancer.

      about 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      First off, I am praying that your lymph nodes are clear.
      It looks to me like you've examined all the angles. The only thing I can think of is getting a second opinion, either to confirm your own findings or to present a new angle if any exist. I wish you the best of luck.

      about 7 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      I would do what you, Jaleman, want to do: biopsy the swollen nodes now. I'd want to know ASAP if the nodes contain cancer cells. As you say, if it turns out that they are benign, you'll save yourself two months of worry. If they have cancer, removal might stop the spread. Granted, there can be side effects from removing those nodes, but (again as you say) those possible side effects are the lesser evil. I don't ever pray, but I'm hoping you get good news after the biopsy.

      about 7 years ago
    • chaffinch's Avatar

      Dear Jalesmans, I, too, have ULMS. Have you heard the theory that LMS does not travel through the lymph system? My current and second metastasis is in my pelvic lymph nodes. Supposedly I have 2 tumors growing since September 2013 and was on Votrient until 2 months ago. Votrient slowed the growth but I had to come off it because of bowel obstruction surgery 8-14. Since coming off Votrient my tumors have doubled in size. My tumor board met today to discuss removing my lymph nodes, my kidney, part of my bowel, and what do do about the tumor wrapping itself around my spine. I am particularly apprehensive about lymph node removal after reading about lymphedema; it looks like it could really be painful and keep me from walking. In any scenario my death is going to be painful and drawn-out so I'd at least like to be able to walk and not have an elephant leg and swollen genetalia. From my perspective,the best 2 things you can do is learn more about the theory that LMS doesn't travel through the lymph system and get a good understanding of how removing lymph nodes will affect you. It sure is hard, isn't it. Take Care.

      almost 7 years ago
    • SparkSeeker's Avatar

      If you are more comfortable to have biopsy results right away, that sounds like a good idea. Confirming cancerous lymph nodes outweighs the risks of scarring and lymphedema. I hope everything is clear, best wishes!

      almost 7 years ago

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