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Does open biopsy of a node show with certainty if it’s reactive?

Looking back at my results it was listed as benign reactive lymph node. As mentioned before the ENT wasn’t willing to take the big 3.5cm by 2cm nodes but instead took a 1cm by 7mm node a couple inches away. He admitted that size isn’t considered enlarged medically but is still bigger than a nodes initial resting state (is this true?)

Anyway my results came back as benign reactive lymph node. My question is if open biopsy can show with certainty that a node is reactive or if that’s some guess work based on other signs. So did they just say it was reactive due to them not finding malignancy and the nearby ones being so large or does it mean they actually found solid proof of a benign reactive process happening?

This matters a lot to me because IF the node did show reactive signs logic would seemingly dictate that even if it’s not the largest of the group the others are also having a benign reactive process.. Am I mistaken in thinking this way? I did have a cold about a month before my surgery so hopefully it wouldn’t still be picking that up.

Also the surgeon said he could clearly see the big boy node when my neck was open and despite its size it looked normal to the human eye… I guess they often have strange looking traits if suspect. Beyond that though if he could see it I’m sure he took one which would be in the same stream as the largest and that should speak for it as well in its findings?
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