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Urology/Large, hard swollen lymph node in groin

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Question
I'm a 55 year old female, 2 years post menopause. A year ago I had visible blood in my urine. My urine cytology and cystoscopy were negative, but a CT-scan found a kidney stone which I later passed. Also found was an ovarian cyst which follow up ultrasounds indicated was a simple cyst that 6 months ago had not gone away. Three weeks ago I discovered a painless, hard, smooth lump in my right groin about 2" long and 3/4" wide. I went to see my urologist yesterday and he said it was a swollen inguinal lymph node that needs to be checked. Since he also found microscopic blood in my urine, I am scheduled for the same tests as last time.

I made the mistake of searching for more information online and of course am now very frightened after reading that a hard, fixed lymph node of that size that is not painful is a sign of cancer. Also since he did not prescribe an antibiotic, I am now assuming he does not think the swollen node is from an infection. Is there much of a chance it isn't anything serious?

Answer
cindy:

Every time you get into a car, there is possibility of a lethal accident, flat tire, running out of gas, etc.  You wanted to know what an enlarged inguinal lymph node could possibly be and you ended up scaring yourself.  The real issue is whether or not there is a problem in the urinary tract causing the blood, then checking on the actual nature of the lymph node enlargement.  It's alot more likely to be infectious or otherwise benign but there is a chance of a cancer also.  Until you know for sure, there is not much point in worrying about it.  You would have been better off not reading so much about it.

The groin lymph node may need a biopsy and you may be referred to a general surgeon as this is technically not a urology issue.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.

Experience

Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

Organizations
American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Publications
Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Education/Credentials
Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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