Ulcerated lymph nodes


Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is a potentially curable blood cancer. We do encounter from time to time patients who absolutely refuse chemotherapy and place their faith on “Alternative medicine”. The result? Lymph node increases in size over the months, ulcerates and produces a horrible looking lesion in the neck.
Photo taken with a Treo650 smartphone

Related MMR post:
Death by Alternative medicine


Malaysian physician, haematologist, blogger, web and tech enthusiast

6 Comments on “Ulcerated lymph nodes

  1. It is indeed unfortunate. It is time for alternative medicine practitioners to be strictly regulated. I think that they have crossed the line in many respects and appear immune to existing laws. Allowing them a free hand with patients will prove detrimental to many.

    Although we cannot ignore the potential benefits of some “alternative” methods, it has to be scientifically validated if they are to achieve a similar standing as modern medicine. Although modern medicine are not without side effects, some even deadly, it is about weighing the risks and benefits and the patients are duly informed. Similarly, alternative medicines can be detrimental to health, contrary to popular but flawed beliefs of its natural and safe origin.

    Unfortunately, as with the case above, doctors have to mop up the mess left behind by unscrupulous but now wealthy alternative practitioners.

  2. It is assumed that practitioners of alternative medicine possess certain knowledge and skills in their fields and they apply these to benefit their patients. However, some of these practitioners are obviously negligent in their practices, like the case shown here who should have been referred to other appropriate professionals early.

    Similarly, it is sad to see a patient who has undergone treatment by chiropracter for many months without an appropriate diagnosis, and subsequently found that the patient has bilateral spastic legs due to certain treatable conditions of the spinal cord that could have been markedly helped if referred early to the appropriate practitioners.

  3. techeach. I agree with you that alternative medicine practitioners (amp) should be regulated. There are indeed quite a number of quacks around to spoil the image of genuine and well trained amp. These quacks are out to make money. Unfortunately, there are also lots of gullible people around to let them get away with it. Ironically their victims do include highly educated professionals.

    It is very fair of you to point out that even modern medicines are not without side effects.

    However, unscrupulous doctors are not only among the amp. There are also unscrupulous Western trained doctors who would leave a mess for their fellow doctors to clean up! I was at a GH one day and I overheard a surgeon raising his voice. He was questioning why the private hospital surgeon operated on a particular female patient knowing very well that she was already at the end stage of colon cancer. He was very mad that that surgeon even charged the patient a huge sum of money and then sent her to the GH. Unfortunately the patient died not long after that.

    Unscrupulous people are in every profession. At the end of the day, it is whether your conscience is clear or not and are you doing justice to the profession that you are blessed with. Having said that, many unscrupulous people do think that they are doing justice to their profession!

  4. Gee I just referred a young girl with huge lymph nodes like that, but not ulcerated. I suspect NHL too. Time to get a better cam palmdoc! hehe.

  5. @maddie. If the therapy is no better than placebo effect or dummy tablets, then it is really Snake Oil Medicine…. So you could conclude that people who persist in using such treatments are in effect really quacks. There is a difference between being a quack and being unscrupulous. The latter exists in any profession.
    Btw, there is no such thing as any medicine in this world which does not have any side effects.
    @Doc. Dopod838Pro? 😉