I started feeling unwell about six weeks ago. I went to the ER and they ran CBC and chest x-ray, all came back normal. I saw my GP the next day or so and he ran sinus CT and amylase/lipase - all normal. Had pressure in my jaw and ears a bit. Passed an exam with my neurologist, but we ran a brain MRI just two weeks ago - also normal. Then my stomach started to ache and I've had some minor aches in my back. We ran an abdominal ultrasound last week but I still don't have results.
So, I'm trying to be patient for those test results and now... I notice a small, firm knot just behind and below my ear lobe on my right side. I'm educated enough and do enough research to have learned that firm, non-mobile lymph nodes are not good. This thing seems small, but quite possibly could be a cervical node. My plan is to talk to my doctor tomorrow when I learn of my ultrasound results.
My question is this - I had the sinus CT about five weeks ago. The brain MRI was less than two weeks ago. If I had something going on in the neck/head area, wouldn't the CT or MRI have picked it up? Do malignant cells move so fast that this could very well be a malignancy from somewhere else that was not there just a couple weeks ago?
I appreciate any input you can provide. I desperately want to get better but I think there's something going on and I'm hoping my doc is soon willing to accelerate the testing.
A CT of the sinuses and an MRI of the brain will do a good job of catching things that involve the sinuses or brain- they may not focus on the other parts of the head and neck (eg skin, throat, thyroid etc), and so potentially could miss some things. It is possible that a lymph node that arises from another source could arise quickly over a matter of weeks, or in the case of possible malignancy, the lymph nose itself can be the primary source, rather than the migration from another source.
That being said, there are other things that this lump could be, so try not to lose sleep about it at this point. Cervical nodes are about an inch behind the bottom part of your ear, rather than immediately behind it.
Your doctor can biopsy this lump if he/she is concerned about it.
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