I was dx with CML Nov, 2004. I started on Gleevec, and continued until two years ago, when I started Tasigna. Although the Gleevec was working for me, I couldn't keep my ANC above .5. I have had wonderful results on the Tasigna. My last PCR from BMA was .012, which was 6 months ago. At that point, my dr at MDACC recommended I go up to 800mg/day since I hadn't really had any serious side effects other than elevated liver enzymes. I go back to MDACC in August, but follow up with my local onc here in FL, monthly. About 2 months ago, I had swollen lymph nodes behind my ear an on my neck, but they all were "squishy" and painful and ended up going down. Then, about a month later, I had the one behind my ear reappear and a new one right below the hairline on the back of my neck. The Tasigna had been causing scalp iritation, and I had a sore that had become inflamed, on the back of my scalp. After a round of antibiotics, the one on my neck completely went down, but the one behind my ear, just went down a little. Early this week, I became ill with a fever, and several tender swollen nodes on both sides of my neck, that are still there. I have also developed two knots, (which I assume are nodes), on the back of my scalp about 3 inches above my hairline, (and the base of my skull). They hurt and are VERY hard. I have an appointment with my local oncologist in a few days, but had my blood taken yesterday. My WBC's are a little low, (2,000), and my ANC is 1,000. I have not experienced any low counts on Tasigna up until now. I'm so concerned that I now have another cancer! Has anyone else had something like this happen after being dx with CML? I'm praying it is just a virus! Can a virus lower your counts?????? Any information would be GREATLY appreciated!
A biopsy should be done if they persist, but it is not likely to be from the CML or another cancer. The lymph nodes you describe are called the "Posterior Cervical lymph nodes" and maybe also the "Postauricular lymph nodes". These relate to bacterial infections and viruses of the sinuses, head, and scalp. Since you describe both of these types of lymph nodes as swollen, an infection of the scalp related to "Tasigna itch" could be a primary potential cause, especially with the scalp infection you described. Another potential cause could be on-going low level sinus infection. These lymph nodes do not often relate to a cancer, although it is possible.
[Note: the word "cervical" here does not refer to female stuff, so don't get worried about that.]
you may already have your answer but here is my 2 cents anyway. Had a similar thing happen to me a year ago and it threw me (and my clinic when I called-they said, "come in now!") into a bit of a minor panic at the time. Turned out be an infection in my jaw deep at the root of one of my molars! Something to possibly take a look at???
Good luck and keep us posted with what you find out