Breathe Deeply

Yes, the Boston Herald is reporting this morning that Jon Lester is being tested for cancer because tests in Boston showed he had enlarged lymph nodes.

Clearly, this is frightening on a personal level. Lester is very young, younger probably than the vast majority of the people who read, post and comment on this site. Our thoughts and prayers go with him and his family.

But let’s also not succumb to the fear caused by headlines linking "Lester" with "cancer."

A quick WebMD search shows that while swollen lymph nodes can be symptomatic of lymphoma and leukemia, they also can be symptomatic of the common cold, mono, cat-scratch fever, tonsilitis, an abcessed tooth and STDs.

It’s scary. It’s to be taken seriously. But let’s hold off the panic that I’m sure will be sweeping parts of RSN at least until tests come back.

9 comments… add one
  • On a completely unrelated note, Nick Swisher’s reaction to being strikeout victim No. 3,000?
    “Who cares? We won.”
    Classy. I think I’ve found a new least-favorite player (non-Yankee category).

    Paul SF August 31, 2006, 10:48 am
  • Paul SF, I’m sure Schilling had enough to say about the historical significance of the moment to more than compensate for Nick Swisher (my new favorite non-Yankee).

    YFinBeantown August 31, 2006, 11:00 am
  • I hope and pray Lester is fine. Cancer is always terrible, but even more so in a 22-year old kid…
    That said, I offer my semi-expert opinion to second Paul’s findings. Enlarged lymph nodes can be in response to an infection, inflammation, flu, etc…basically an immune response to any kind of assault on the body.
    However, *because* swollen lymph nodes by themselves don’t usually scream “cancer”, I worry that there’s more to this story than what they are saying. He might be having other symptoms that they aren’t disclosing because of patient privacy rights. Hopefully it’s nothing but a scare.

    yankeemonkey August 31, 2006, 11:39 am
  • Why do you worry that? What reason do you have for doubting the results? If the leak was made to the press re: the initial diagnosis, then why hold out on the rest of the report?

    Brad August 31, 2006, 11:47 am
  • I thought the whole point was that they *didn’t* have a diagnosis yet, which is why they were conducting tests?
    Take it easy, Brad, I’m not wishing cancer on the kid!

    yankeemonkey August 31, 2006, 12:04 pm
  • I see what YM’s saying. There’s so many other possibilities, the fact that someone has jumped to the worst case scenario (Youkilis had a stomach flu but no one was saying cancer then) might measn there’s more there, but whoever did the leaking either realized they disclosed too much by dropping the “c” bomb or felt uncomfortable saying more than just the initial diagnosis and what doctors are thinking it means…

    Paul SF August 31, 2006, 12:05 pm
  • I don’t mean to be a gloomy gus, but I get the feeling that he’s got to be showing other symptoms. I’ve been to the doctor with swollen lymph nodes plenty, and I’ve never been admitted for testing.
    That said, I hope I’m wrong, and my prayers are with the kid.

    YFinBeantown August 31, 2006, 12:42 pm
  • In addition, even if it is (and I pray that it’s not) cancer, there are numerous instances of athletes beating it….Isn’t Lowell a survivor? Mel Stottlemyre had multiple myeloma, someone in the Angels’ org. had leukemia, I believe. So hopefully the kid will pull through.

    yankeemonkey August 31, 2006, 1:12 pm
  • Don’t forget Mario Lemieux. Also a lymphoma survivor.

    I'm Bill McNeal August 31, 2006, 7:15 pm

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