Node-thing to worry about?
October 31, 2017 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Medi-filter, you are not my doctor, but I'd like some advice about my groin! (It's not that exciting, sadly, just a sore/swollen lymph node.)

A lymph node on the left side of my groin area is painful to the touch, a little achy when not being touched, and swollen to about the size of a lima bean. This just happened in the past few days, I think. It's hard, not squishy, and not particularly mobile. There's no swelling or redness on the skin. I don't have any current illnesses or injuries, though I did have a minor nailbed injury on my left big toe a few weeks back (which has since resolved). I do also have a cat and I guess toxo is a Thing?

Background information which may be of use: AFAB, so testicular cancer can be ruled out. No remarkable health history. I had an upper respiratory infection for a good chunk of September, which is out of character for me (rarely ill and usually clear it pretty fast; this hung on for weeks). I've been experiencing lingering tiredness / lack of energy since then, but this could be due to work/general-being-alive stress. I had a routine physical in September, just before getting sick, and the PCP notified me to say my bloodwork showed a leukemoid reaction and asked me to drop by again in a while to have it rechecked since I hadn't reported feeling ill at the physical. Since I came down sick just a few days later, I assumed at the time the WBC had maybe just been elevated because of the impending illness, so I haven't been back yet for a re-check.

On a scale of one to very, how concerned do I need to be about this node? Could this just be mono or similar? I'd rather avoid the time and expense of a doctor's visit if this is a viral thing which will likely resolve on its own in a few weeks. Is there any home care stuff I can do to reduce the swelling or make it less achy? (It's located right under the seam of most underpants, and the pressing makes it sore.)
posted by halation to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Well, I've had cancer, so I think you should go to the doctor. But it sounds like you don't want to, so I will share with you that my oncologist tells me if I have any symptom that persists for 2 weeks, I should come and see him. If you're sure it's only been swollen for a few days and it's not causing you too much worrying-related stress, wait another 10 days and see if it's still there. And then go to the doctor.
posted by something something at 10:30 AM on October 31, 2017

My husband had an enlarged lymph node in his groin and it turned out to be lymphoma. Go get it checked out, please.
posted by fancyoats at 10:38 AM on October 31, 2017

Uh, yeah. I came in here to say what the others have said, because my bestie has cancer. Get it checked out. Way, way better safe than sorry.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:47 AM on October 31, 2017

If it were just the lymph node, I would say wait and see for a week. I've definitely had swollen lymph nodes there that went away on their own in a matter of days.

However. Leukemoid blood work + tiredness + swollen lymph node = general illness OR something much much worse. Make an appointment to see the doc, it's really the prudent thing to do.
posted by lydhre at 10:57 AM on October 31, 2017 [1 favorite]

Please go to the doctor. Maybe it's a virus, but if it's not, the trade-offs are much more than a bit of time and money. Inertia and denial are powerful, but please go. Better safe than sorry.
posted by epanalepsis at 11:08 AM on October 31, 2017

Huh, I'm a bit surprised the answer trend has been so unanimous. I was figuring I could maybe kind of blow this off. The discomfort has increased over the afternoon -- which I think argues against it being Something Serious, maybe? Hell, given the location it could be a hernia, apparently, which I didn't even know could occur in that area. But it's sore when I walk or when I sit, at this point, and the general consensus seems to be 'go,' so I got myself an appointment for Friday and will cross my fingers that it turns out to be relatively affordable. Thank you!
posted by halation at 4:56 PM on October 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

In the meantime, though, if anyone has any ideas for pain/swelling relief, I'd be all over it. Heat? Ice? I have literally no idea what to apply.
posted by halation at 5:04 PM on October 31, 2017

Tylenol and hot packs may help the tenderness.
I join the chorus in saying get it checked out. I am glad you made an appointment.
posted by SLC Mom at 10:42 PM on October 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

Update purely for entertainment purposes: so I'm waiting on bloodwork to confirm, but it's likely a B. henselae infection. Yes, that's right: CAT SCRATCH FEVER. I now have a short course of antibiotics and a patient care sheet that literally has Ted Nugent lyrics copy/pasted into the 'Diagnosis' section because my PCP thought this was hilarious. (He is correct, it is pretty hilarious.)
posted by halation at 6:40 AM on November 4, 2017 [5 favorites]

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