Posted by: Charlene | 2017/11/20


Is lymphoma cancer related??

i have a lump at the back of my neck,which is not really painful but is noticeable and really uncomfortable at most times it appears when im stressed. i read some where that it may be cancer related i dont have any other synptoms apart from a tension pain .my mom thinks it may be just fat, since i had some lymphoma grow under my armpits and had it surgically removed and there were no traces of any cancer cells. should this be a cause for concern or can i dismiss it as just fat?

Expert's Reply


Cancer expert
- 2017/11/21

Dear Charlene, Lymphoma can sometimes come back after successful treatment. This is called ‘relapse’. Relapse means that the lymphoma has come back after going into complete remission (no evidence of lymphoma). In the case of low-grade non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), it might mean the lymphoma has flared up after being stable (staying the same) for some time. Although a relapse can be very distressing, many people are treated successfully again.

It is natural to feel worried about your lymphoma relapsing. While in remission, you might find that you are more sensitive to aches, pains and other bodily sensations than you used to be. Many people feel particularly anxious in the lead up to follow-up appointments. As part of your follow-up, your doctor usually checks for signs of relapse.

When last did you have a following-up visit?

If you are in follow-up after successful treatment for your lymphoma you should:

  • attend your follow-up appointments
  • ask what symptoms to look out for
  • report any concerning symptoms to your doctor.

There may be no evidence of lymphoma on your tests and scans after treatment. However, it is still possible that a small number of abnormal cells remain. These cells can cause a relapse.

Lymphoma treatments are usually most effective at killing fast-growing cells. Some of the slow-growing cells in low-grade lymphoma may ‘escape’ treatment. Relapse happens when these cells build up. This is why relapse is generally more likely in low-grade lymphomas.

Lymphoma might come back where it was before or it could affect another part of your body. You might have the same symptoms as before or different symptoms. Your doctor should tell you what to look out for. Contact your treating physician if you have any symptoms you are worried about between appointments. He/she can reassure you or they might bring your appointment forward.

If your doctor thinks you might have relapsed, you are likely to have tests, including blood tests and scans. If your lymphoma has relapsed, your doctor needs to find out how the lymphoma affects you, just as they did when you were first diagnosed.

If you have low-grade lymphoma, you might have another biopsy to check if your lymphoma has transformed (changed) into a faster-growing type. In most cases, the lymphoma won’t have transformed but it is important to find out if it has. Transformed lymphoma needs different treatment.

Please do not hesitate to make an appointment with your treating physician to have the ‘lump’ in your neck checked out. (MCH).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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