I had a chest xray and they found enlarged mediastinal lymph nodes. Night sweats for years (I'm 47 yrs old, female), always fatigued (but always have been), and now have a HORRIBLE ITCHY RASH under my arms! Has anyone here experienced the rash?

jmhall- Although the location

Although the location of your rash doesn't ring any bells straight-away, it's possible you're experiencing what's known as lymphoma itching.

What kind of diagnosis were you given?


I went on 7/2 and had the

I went on 7/2 and had the first xray because of chest pain and shortness of breath. Then they did a ct with dye & saw the enlarged lymph nodes. He said to follow up with another ct in a month, because it could possibly be lymphoma, and gave me the name of a regular doc, who now says to wait 3 months before another ct. IN the meantime, I was sent to an oncologist - who told me it's probably nothing to worry about - but he didn't even talk to me about the night sweats or itching. I live in a small town, and I'm really wondering about these doctors, but I don't want to be a hypochondriac either. I appreciate any help or insight.
Thanks. Janis

Janis- Your symptoms could be

Your symptoms could be nothing, or they could be everything, and if I were you I would operate on the side of everything. Be a hypochondriac, why not? It's not like it's a chronic behavior of yours I assume, right? And it's not like you're worried about the common cold, we're talking about cancer here. I would press these doctors, or I would insist on a referral to an oncologist in a larger city. Second opinions are part of the profession. Really, I wouldn't hesitate. Not because I think it's urgent, I don't know, but I think you need to know, and that's urgency enough.


Thank you, Ross. I don't know

Thank you, Ross. I don't know what your experience is with all this, but I hope you don't mind if I ask another question. I am supposed to have the follow up CT of the chest toward the end of October. I was just about to call and ask them to move it up, but then I just got an upper respiratory virus and now I'm afraid the nodes could show up as enlarged because of that! What do you know about that?

Janis- That is a really

That is a really intelligent question on your part, but I'm afraid I can't give you an equally intelligent answer except to say that enlarged mediastinal nodes aren't generally associated with a viral infection, even in the chest, or some other reaction typical of the immune system. In those cases, enlarged nodes in the groin or neck are far more common. Furthermore, I don't think- but can't be sure- that a CT scan would be enough for a radiologist to determine why certain lymph nodes were swollen, i.e. from infection or some form of lymphoma.

Because of the seriousness of lymphoma, I would move up the CT scan as you had planned. If they tell you that it's from the infection, you can always get another doc or two to look at the scan.

By the way, and I don't mean to alarm you in any way, but I was reading in Discover Magazine's October 2009 issue a section called "Vital Signs"- each month a doctor talks about a difficult case they encountered- and this month is about a woman older than you who sees her doc about a spreading rash and as it turns out, it was ovarian cancer, which, though very rarely, can sometimes initially present as a rash. The piece isn't online yet since the issue is still on the stands. frankly you don't seem to have ANY of the other symptoms that this patient had, but i thought i'd mention it anyway. Online the piece will eventually go up at http://discovermagazine.com/columns/vital-signs but like i said it's not there yet.

anyway sorry i can't be more helpful. You could go over to this site's sister site, supportgroups.com, i'm a moderator for the NHL/HL forums, and ask the question there, perhaps you'll get a more knowledgeable answer.


Thank you. I really do

Thank you. I really do appreciate your time to answer. I'm pretty sure I don't have ovarian cancer - been through so many tests over the years.
I was thinking the same thing about the location of the lymph nodes. The first doc, in the er, said I should follow up in a month. Then the gp and the oncologist keep putting it off. They said that they wouldn't have time to change enough, either larger or smaller, and I could get an inaccurate result. I think if they have not shrunk back to size, they'll probably suggest a biopsy. Which I will get in Charlotte or Asheville - not my tiny little town.
I was kind of surprised the oncologist didn't even inquire about or comment on the night sweats and the rash. (I had told the nurse when she was getting background info.)
Like I said, I've had so many scares over the years that turn out to be nothing, I'm pretty sure this will too - but it's the stress of going through it each time that gets to you!
Thanks again and take care,

Janis- OK, good, I didn't

OK, good, I didn't want to alarm you with that, but I thought I'd mention it.

I think it's odd the doc wouldn't ask about the sweats or the rash. A biopsy is best, although good idea in getting it done elsewhere, since while you'd think biopsies are the be-all end-all, they often turn out to be inconclusive. Hope for a good pathologist.

Considering your age-- with all due respect-- perhaps the doc made the assumption that those symptoms were somehow related to menopause, but whatever the case, it would have been nice for him to say whatever he felt they were about.

Either way, best of luck to you--

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