Q. I am severely anemic, and the right lymph node in my neck is painful. Is it cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Shobhit Shah
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 04, 2021

Hello doctor,

I am a 23 year old male, and I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, from the past five years. It is well controlled by Synthroid and natural thyroid. Over the last few months, I have been having some worrying symptoms. I am literally so tired all the time, and I am severely anemic even if I take iron daily. I forgot what my numbers were, but they were at the very bottom, and I eat healthily and workout thrice a week. No matter how much I sleep, I am so tired. I do feel better after the gym, but I have to drag myself there, and the workouts are feeling harder to do. I have been getting headaches a lot, and I currently have a painfully swollen lymph node in my right neck area. I am also sore and achy a lot. After doing some internet search, what stood out to me is leukemia or lymphoma. I know my white blood cell count was a little high, just a tiny bit and the doctor said that my body is just ready to fight an infection. But I think my last test was not normal. I think I might have cancer or something else seriously wrong.



Welcome to

  • Get a thyroid profile and complete hemogram done. Your symptoms are very vague and they do not point to any one disease.

Revert with more information to an internal medicine physician online -->

Thank you doctor,

I have my reports, that I did at the beginning of the year, and the comparison from the past few as well. I will attach them.



Welcome back to

I have seen your reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

  • It is unlikely that you will have cancer. I would like the following information:
  1. Is there any family history?
  2. From how long are you having these symptoms?
  3. Is there any weight loss? If yes, then how much?
  4. What is the approximate size of the palpable lymph node? Is it hard and tender to touch?
  • Have a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) of the lymph node.

Revert with more information to an internal medicine physician online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank for the reply. I do not have weight loss, but I have a decreased appetite. I do not know my family history because I was adopted. I would say, the symptoms started seven months back, and they are getting worse. The lymph node is the size of my thumb tip. Is there anything else you see that could be going on?



Welcome back to

  • Cervical tuberculosis is a possibility, but it is uncommon in your country. I suggest you either try a course of antibiotics for 10 days or have a FNAC of the lymph node.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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