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Cancer Genetics

Ovarian Cancer and Lymph Nodes

10/06/2004

Question:

We are waiting for the conclusive results of the removal of a lymph node in my mom`s neck. It was about the size of an egg and the pathologist said it was suspicious for malignancy. If it is in her lymph nodes what does that mean for her and her prognosis? The doctors were concerned because the lymph node is so far from the sight they are concerned about and it enlarged in 5 days approximately. Does all of this make the case worse?

Answer:

The most important thing you can do is wait to find out what your mother's doctors say about this.  When lymph nodes are found to have cancer, it generally means a somewhat poorer outcome. But also keep in mind that until the pathologist confirms that the lymph node indeed has evidence of cancer, it may simply be an enlarged lymph node as a result of an infection of some sort.

It is always best to find out directly from the doctor what exactly is going on.  In this way, you will be working with concrete information.  You will have a clearer idea of what the options are and how to proceed.

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Response by:

Duane D Culler, PhD, MS Duane D Culler, PhD, MS
Clinical Instructor of Genetics
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University