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"Why do I have swollen glands?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have swollen glands?

Question

I am a 22 yr old female. I have been having symptoms of sore glands in my neck and under my chin, headaches, exhaustion and night sweats( mostly on my neck). This has lasted for almost 3 months, My doctor mentioned it may be a virus. What could be causing this to last so long?

Answer

I would definitely recommend going back to your doctor for another evaluation. It is true that exhaustion, headaches, and swollen glands can be symptoms of a viral condition, especially of mononucleosis (or "mono"). These symptoms can sometimes go on for quite a while. However, whenever there is a combination of swollen glands, exhaustion, and night sweats, it is important to rule out other serious medical conditions. In particular, it is important to rule out a lymphoma, which is a type of blood cancer which can often present with these symptoms. Ruling out a lymphoma is something that can often be done with a series of basic blood tests. However, many times, it may be necessary to obtain a biopsy from one of the lymph nodes (swollen glands), depending on how large they are and for how long they have been present. Your primary care doctor can perform a full examination and help you decide what testing is necessary right now. If they decide a biopsy of a lymph node is necessary, they can also help you set that up. They may also decide to do some testing for some of the viruses that cause mono symptoms, as a positive test there would also help to confirm a diagnosis.

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