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Author Topic: Lump  (Read 4804 times)

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Offline BM

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Lump
« on: July 13, 2009, 03:14:07 PM »
I don't know if this is the right place to post this topic, please move it if it isn't (let me know where it's gone, though!).

Last week, while lying in bed, I discovered a pea-sized lump in the back of my thigh. It wasn't sore unless I pressed it, although the sensation was more one of discomfort than pain. Like the moron I am, I decided to ignore it and hoped it would go away. The next night I couldn't find it and breathed a sigh of relief. However, it would seem I had just been looking for it in the wrong place as it's still very much there and is now aching. The nurse at my HIV clinic has advised me to see my GP as soon as possible. Thanks to the messed-up way doctors' surgeries are run in the UK, I have to submit to a lottery-type booking system very early in the morning with no guarantee I'll get to see my GP soon. I could book an appointment, but the earliest available is several weeks away.

In the meantime, I'm floating about in limbo, feeling quite sick with worry and imagining the worst (my aunt died of cancer last year). Anyone been in a similar situation?

Offline newbie76

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Re: Lump
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 04:34:14 PM »
I have something very similar to what you describe in my lower adomen, on the side, more or less where my left kidney would be.

My GP sentenced without a doubt that it's a lipoma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipoma)

He said he could remove it in his surgery if I wanted to, but I passed on the offer!  ;D He seemed a bit disappointed... I think he is a bit sadistic...

Anyway, that was 2 years ago so he must be right: my lump is still there but hasn't grown or given me any sort of problem.

Don't fret too much until you've been to see your GP; with any luck yours will also be a lipoma.
25th Apr 07: The worst day of my life
27th Apr 07: cd4 202 14%
30th Apr 07: cd4 126 18% VL 110000
19th May 07: Started Truvada/Sustiva
20th Jun 07: cd4 218 25% VL 435
13th Aug 07: cd4 374 20% VL 64
20th Dec 07: cd4 435 24% VL <50
20th Oct 08: cd4 725 31% VL <50
30th Nov 09: cd4 725 30% VL <50
01st Nov 10: cd4 755 33% VL<50
11th Nov 11: cd4 754 32% VL<50
01st May 12: cd4 864 40% VL<50
01st May 13: cd4 615 VL 609 :-/
14th May 13: VL <50

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 12:17:02 PM »
My GP has no idea what the lump is. Took lots of blood and sent me for a chest x-ray. I'm being referred to surgery to "see what they think".

I'm alternating between trying not to worry until I know more and steeling myself for the the worst. I have a family history of cancer and a CD4 nadir of 37, so my risk is heightened. I was also a smoker for 10 years (63 weeks "clean"). Taking into account the terrible night sweats I've been experiencing lately, there's definitely something fishy going on.

Offline newbie76

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Re: Lump
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2009, 01:58:47 AM »
Maybe he is just being zealous or he just doesn't have a clue...

Anyway, if the lump is at the back of your thigh, why is he sending you to do chest x-rays?  ???

25th Apr 07: The worst day of my life
27th Apr 07: cd4 202 14%
30th Apr 07: cd4 126 18% VL 110000
19th May 07: Started Truvada/Sustiva
20th Jun 07: cd4 218 25% VL 435
13th Aug 07: cd4 374 20% VL 64
20th Dec 07: cd4 435 24% VL <50
20th Oct 08: cd4 725 31% VL <50
30th Nov 09: cd4 725 30% VL <50
01st Nov 10: cd4 755 33% VL<50
11th Nov 11: cd4 754 32% VL<50
01st May 12: cd4 864 40% VL<50
01st May 13: cd4 615 VL 609 :-/
14th May 13: VL <50

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 04:37:32 AM »
BM,

I wouldn't sweat this too much if I were you. I have little lumps here and there like the one you describe. Chances are very good that it's either a harmless cyst, or a dermatofibroma. I have both. You should have been referred to a dermatologist before he panicked you with chest x-rays. ::)

Hang in there and let us know what happens.

Ann

PS - that link I gave you describes dermatofibromas as "brownish to purple" in colour, but that's not necessarily so. Mine are normal skin coloured to pinkish. They're still dermatofibromas though.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 04:40:50 AM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline randym431

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Re: Lump
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 06:20:34 AM »
I myself had a lump when I was young pre hiv.
Its still there.
It was a simple fatty tumor, harmless.
But polking at it and all, makes it become tender and a little
painful. The pain part may be due to polking at it too much,
even if its just a plain old harmless fatty tissue lump, polking
at it too much will make it seem worse.
This happens with temporary swollen lymph nodes too.
The more you mess with it, the more it hurts.

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2009, 07:48:21 AM »
Oh yeah, Randy mentioned the pain/discomfort you feel when pressing it. I meant to say something about that too, so thanks Randy for bringing it up. Most of mine feel kinda strange when I press them, and the one I have on my calf hurts a bit when I press. The doctor said "don't press it then". Words of wisdom. :D

And BTW, if you do get referred to a dermatologist and his name happens to be Hepburn, you might want to request a different doc. Hepburn is a jerk - I wrote about him in my blog. (I'm also in the UK, so you never know...) I was referred to him by my GP to have my moles and various bumps checked out.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2009, 08:57:48 AM »
Thanks, guys. It is sore when I press it, but it also aches regardless.

Anyway, feel brighter after a good night's sleep (I was exhausted yesterday). Gonna go out with some friends and have a few medicinal pints to take my mind off things. Above all, I'm not going to worry unless I have to.

And I'll keep an eye out for that dermatologist, Ann!  :)

Offline Longislander

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Re: Lump
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 12:31:31 AM »
I've developed these pea-sized lumps as well in the past year. Went to my HIV doc, the PA felt them and they scheduled me for ultra-sound ( where mammographys are done-had one of those , too!) Fatty whatevers is what they call them.

I was scared shitless, but try not to worry til it's figured out.

Paul
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline tokyodecadence

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Re: Lump
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 12:54:31 AM »
Also, skin-level reactions can cause lumps. It's not uncommon for people to get lumps from underwear, clothing friction, sitting alot, etc. I actually used to get lumps in my armpit when I was younger, and I discovered that it was because of the aluminum used in [American] deodorant. So I switched to organic, no lumps since :p That was about 6 years ago.



Just throwing that possibility in there.
[.Fodão.]

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2009, 09:32:09 PM »
After lots of messing around, the consensus is that I am now just getting over a bout of... herpes. Just finished my course of aciclovir and feeling very much like a viral repository!

Is it possible that I could have had the virus for a while and this is the first time it has reared its head? Or are new infections always symptomatic (in my case a very, very, VERY sore anus)?

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2009, 03:50:25 AM »
Anogenital herpes does usually seem to be symptomatic the first time around. Many people also experience a mild flu-like illness along with it. I know I did.

Stress can bring on recurrences and so can just being sick with something like a cold - that's how herpes on the lips got the name "cold sores". People with hiv tend to get recurrences too, but as you're on hiv meds, you might not get this problem. If you do, talk to your doctor about taking acyclovir prophylaxis.

And if you do get a recurrence, get yourself some baby wipes for the bathroom. It will save you a lot of pain and discomfort. It's also important to keep the area clean so you don't end up with a secondary bacterial infection.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2009, 06:30:22 AM »
Thanks Ann. I did get flu-like symptoms. Did you also experience intense sensations of needing to empty your bowls (even when you didn't need to) that bordered on pain and travelled down the back of your legs? All-in-all it was a truly horrible experience! I cannot think how I might have picked this up recently: my sex drive has been nil for a long time.

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2009, 06:49:07 AM »

Did you also experience intense sensations of needing to empty your bowls (even when you didn't need to) that bordered on pain and travelled down the back of your legs?


No, thankfully I've never experienced that, although I can see how it could happen because of the nerve involvement. (Herpes infects nerve cells, that's why it's so damned painful!) My primary outbreak was a little more to the front (if you get my drift) but I eventually ended up with outbreaks where you got them - probably because little girls are taught to wipe front-to-back. And yes, that does mean you can spread the herpes around your own body if you're not careful! :-\

Herpes is very easy to transmit - all it takes is skin-to-skin contact. The other person doesn't even necessarily have to have an apparent outbreak as the virus can sometimes be shed from skin where the lesions occur, but while the virus is allegedly dormant. Acyclovir prophylaxis seems to prevent this happening for the most part. I know I've never passed it on while on prophylaxis, but that doesn't mean everyone will have the same experience. (note: I've managed to never pass it on at all because I've always been careful about avoiding sex during an outbreak. Well, at least no one ever accused me of passing it on!)

Even if you don't want to take acyclovir prophylactically, you should talk to your doctor about getting a script so you can have some on hand. As soon as you start to feel the tell-tale tingling (or sometimes more of an itch) that heralds an outbreak, start taking it (according to your doctor's dosage instructions) and at best you won't get the outbreak, and at least it won't be as bad as it might have been.

Yeah, herpes suck. Good luck with it!

Ann


PS - just to add a little humour, I told my mother what I'd had after my primary outbreak. (and why on earth I chose to share that with my mother is lost in the mists of time!) After that, she used to occasionally ask me how my "herbies" were doing. Doh! ;D
« Last Edit: August 17, 2009, 06:55:16 AM by Ann »
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2009, 07:34:50 AM »
Thanks Ann, you're the best!

Some more mum-related humour: my mum used to think teletext was the internet. Not "herbies"-related but fun nevertheless! :D

One more question: do you think my CD4 and viral load numbers will have taken a hammering during the outbreak? My blood was taken just before I started aciclovir, while everything was quite sore.

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2009, 07:51:16 AM »
You're welcome! :)

It is quite possible that your CD4 dropped a bit but your VL should remain undetectable. If your CD4s did drop, try to not worry about it as they should have no problem coming back up to previous levels. Looking at your numbers, I can see that you'll probably feel a bit discouraged by a drop, but do try to not let it bother you too much. At least you know the reason for the drop. If the doctor who diagnosed your herpes isn't the same person as your hiv doc, make sure you let the hiv doc know about it and that you had your primary outbreak at the time of your blood draw.

There's been some evidence that acyclovir can have a positive benefit for people with hiv. Peter Staley wrote a blog about it: http://blogs.poz.com/peter/archives/2008/09/acyclovir_one_r.html

And by the way, glad I'm not the only one with a silly mum! ;D

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Lump
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2009, 08:10:19 AM »
PS - just to add a little humour, I told my mother what I'd had after my primary outbreak. (and why on earth I chose to share that with my mother is lost in the mists of time!) After that, she used to occasionally ask me how my "herbies" were doing. Doh! ;D

LOL!  Boy I miss my mom.... 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2009, 11:56:29 AM »
I needn't have worried about my CD4 count dipping: 407 (15%). It's a birthday present come a day early!  ;D

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2009, 09:54:32 AM »
That's a nice jump, BM! I see your % went up too. Everything seems to be moving in the right direction for you. Did you talk to your doctor about herpes and acyclovir?

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2009, 07:25:37 PM »
I haven't had a chance to talk to my doctor yet. My next appointment is on Wednesday. Given what you and Peter have said regarding aciclovir and genital herpes, I think it makes sense to start taking the drug long-term. I just hope I can persuade my doctor of this!

Thanks Ann,

Brian

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2009, 08:06:31 PM »
Brian, even if he vetoes the idea of daily prophylaxis, he should at the very least allow you a refillable script so you can have some on hand for outbreaks. If you start getting outbreaks quite often, then you can go back and plead your case for the dailies. He might go for the daily, but keep the "as needed" script in mind just in case he doesn't.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Lump
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2009, 08:52:11 PM »
I wanted to ask something about this thread that is confusing me. Initially Brian felt a "lump" and that turned out to be herpes?

Herpes does not present as a "lump," which is confusing me. Maybe I missed something?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 12:44:21 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2009, 09:01:36 PM »
I kinda wondered about that at first too, but I think the lump was probably a swollen lymph gland. They commonly accompany an outbreak of herpes, especially if it's the primary outbreak.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2009, 03:19:05 PM »
The lump in my leg was an unusually large, swollen lymph node. An ultrasound showed I had lots of them in both legs and my groin, presumably because of the herpes outbreak. They disappeared as the infection subsided.

Offline Ann

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Re: Lump
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2009, 09:08:18 AM »
Hey Brian, here's some more Acyclovir news you might be interested in reading before you see your doctor:

http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/4D56F855-6B95-4D42-B984-C66CED4079A6.asp

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BM

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Re: Lump
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 09:52:50 AM »
I didn't see my usual doctor today. I was given a script in case of another outbreak of herpes, but she would rather wait and see if I do get another outbreak so I'm "not put on unneccesary medication".

I have HSV type 1. Is this less severe in some way compared to HSV type 2 that usually affects the genital area?

I've had a viral load blip: 115 copies/mm^3. I'm not going to tie myself up in knots of worry this time: it's almost certainly due to the herpes illness. Doc's ordered another viral load test to make sure.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 09:56:06 AM by BM »

Offline Dale Parker

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Re: Lump
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2009, 08:18:13 PM »
Hey BM:  I have developed a small pea sized lump on my right arm above the elbow. It sounds a lot like yours. I checked with the doc and he said it was nothing to worry about. However if it gets bigger or changes colour (not just turning red cuz your playing with it) I would make a trip back to the doctors and push for tests sooner than later.
  I also noticed a lump type thing under my chin on the right side of my vocal cords near the top.  The doctor said it was swolen saliva glands. A lot of aids patients get them. He said that they are nothing to worry about.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 08:22:18 PM by Dale Parker »
Apr 09  CD4 21, CD4/CD8 ratio 0 VL 500,000+
July 09 CD4 158, CD4/CD812% VL 750
Oct 09 CD4 157 CD4/CD8 14% VL UD
Feb 10 CD4 197, CD4/CD8 11% VL UD
May 10  CD4 252 CD4/CD8 12% VL UD
Aug 10 CD4 211 VL UD
Nov 10 CD4 272 CD4/CD8 0.138 VL UD

 


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