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ENT reviewed biopsy results-seemingly reassuring?

The surgeon spoke with me at length regarding the procedure. He said the node they took was only around a cm, he did say however it’s very likely it shrunk a small amount due to it losing blood supply and being put in the solution to preserve it. Regarding the size he says it’s not considered enlarged in a formal doctor diagnosis way but he is confident 1cm is bigger than a fresh normal node without any oddities whatsoever (is this true?)

He did say when my neck was open he actually looked at the big node nearby, he said to the eyeball it looked normal just big. He knew he wasn’t risking going for it given it’s on the jugular and important nerves but being so close he wanted to see it. He said the node he removed was nearby (behind submandibular gland) so I assume that would be downstream of the big boys given he was close enough to actually look right at the nearby big guy?

He said to him this is 99.99% certainty it’s benign, it’s a node from the same region (very close sounds like) and he’s confident saying it speaks for the nearby ones.

I also asked about the report, it doesn’t say much in layman’s speak but it did come back as being a benign reactive lymph node. He said that means they seen cellular evidence the node was activated and responding to something. According to the surgeon if it was just benign it would only say benign lymph node rather than benign reactive. So he says they must have seen evidence this node was triggered and responding to something. Now he didn’t say this but to me that’s a good sign against malignancy isn’t it? This node is reactive with no evidence of cancer, logic would dictate that the nearby neighbors are reacting too then but not in response to malignancy as that wasn’t found in this node. Does that logic stand to reason? Or am I missing something here? Is it true biopsies can show if a node is reacting vs non reacting? (Both being benign)

I’m still worried as a year ago the biggest were 2.6 by 0.8 and 2.4 by 0.8 now they are 3.0 and 3.5 but with a benign excision that does put the odds of malignancy essentially out the window doesn’t it?
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