ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have swollen Para-Aortic nodes?

Question

Why do I have swollen Para-Aortic nodes?

I've had 2 CT scans 2 years apart, one in 2009, and a repeat in 2011. Am supposed to go back this year for another because in both of the previous scans it showed enlarged Para aortic nodes. Largest measuring 12mm. This along with abdominal pain (undiagnosed) was the reason for the scans, however, I don't think my doctors are worried. But I'm scared I have some sort of cancer they haven't found. What else could cause those nodes to stay enlarged without the presence of cancer?

Answer

Thank you for your question, and I am sorry for the distress these tests have caused you. In order to provide an accurate recommendation, a doctor would need to know the full details of your medical history and also perform a thorough physical exam. In addition, the doctor would need to review your prior CT scans in person. Only after collecting this information will it be possible to make recommendations on how to proceed. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system that helps collect lymphatic fluid and return it to the venous circulation. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. Disorders that cause inflammation can lead to enlarged lymph nodes. Potential causes include lymphoma, infection, vasculitis, and lupus. These disorders are typically manifest in other ways beyond swollen nodes on a CT scan. In many cases, enlarged nodes on a CT scan are benign. Certain features, such as size, characteristics of the nodes themselves, and change in size over time, can increase or decrease concern for nodes being benign or more concerning. I strongly encourage you to raise these issues with a primary care physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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