I'm twenty years old (don't know if age is relevant!), about five days ago my left lymph node in my neck became swollen, to about the size of a golf ball. It feels like someone is punching me in the neck when ever I move. I went to the doctor three days ago & he put me on an antibiotic & a steroid. He said he didn't know what it was, but he was treating it as tonsilitis, (which I've had, which this isn't.) He said if the swelling wasn't down by yesterday, that he'd do blood work. The swelling only went down a very tiny bit and it still hurts very much! I'll be going back to the doctor tomorrow!
My only symptom is the neck swelling & pain.
What do you think it could be?
Thanks for writing to the forum!
A lymph node in the neck area is usually due to problems like sinusitis, pyorrhea, dental caries, head lice and dandruff in your head. However a similar swelling can also be an abscess, folliculitis (hair follicle infection) or a neurofibroma (localized harmless swelling in a nerve) or a lipoma (localized collection of fat).
It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. A fine needle biopsy of a CT scan can tell for sure what the lump is. Maybe you can seek another opinion. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Hi! Thank you for your comments, very much appreciated!
I went back to the doctor yesterday and she wants me to see an ENT doctor and have a biopsy done. In the meantime, she is treating me with a really powerful antibiotic, which feels like it's ripping up my stomach and is mission to leave no survivors!
Before I was treated for the neck swelling & pain, it was a constand moderate pain. When I was on the steroid & first antibiotic, it went down to mild. Now it is escalating back to moderate. The swelling has gotten much worse over night and continues to progress to the strange golf ball size it was last week. (Strange, I don't remember eating one!)
The strange bit was, 4 months ago my under arm lymph node was swollen. No samples were taken & my doctor declared it to be hormonal. It is still a bit swollen (doctor felt it as well,) and thinks that the ENT doctor should biopsy my more superficial swollen gland.
what are your thoughts? At this point could it be less serious than all of this?
When is a good time to ask for pain meds for this? I can hardly sleep at night, so I've been taking OTC sleep meds. I am tempted to take them during the day, since they hardly help me sleep anyway, they just take the edge off, which advil doesn't seem to do.
Which I still take anyway because I hope it brings the swelling down, but doesn't.
Since the swelling increased in size after the dose of steroid, I would say it is infective in pathology. But you never know. It may be something else. A biopsy, fine needle aspiration and further cytology study or a CT scan can tell for sure what it is.
It would do you good to take over the counter ranitidine and some antacids with the antibiotics. Take yoghurt and lactobacillus preparation in addition. Your gut will no longer feel like something is ripping it apart. Instead of sleep medications you can take painkillers or antiinflammatory drugs. Your pharmacist can help you out with that.
Hope this helps. You can take a second opinion if you want. Wait and see what the ENT says. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
So there are some developments, maybe you can help! I'm a little scared and confused.
My doctor instructed me to go to the emergency room yesterday, as my neck pain was getting worse. She said she didn't want to mask it until I went to the ENT doctor on Monday, that it needed looking at.
So I went, they did blood work, apparently that was ok. They did a CT scan and it shows that my node is indeed inflammed. They decided to give me a stronger antibiotic, even though all of the weird tests my primary doctor tests for, came back negative. Very worried! Isn't it true if it were an infection it would have gone away by now? Other than the two previous antibiotics I have been on for this issue, I have not been on antibiotics in about a year, so I know there is no resistance. This new pill makes me incredibily sick to my stomach. I'm staying hydrated & resting & eating healthy. I'm doing all I should be doing and I constantly get worse.
The swelling changed since yesterday. It's super hard, feels as hard as a bone.
I'm still scheduled to meet with the ENT on Monday, but if the swelling & pain is not better by tomorrow, the ENT wants to meet with me sooner. (Apparently the ENT helped the ER doctor come to these scheduling & perscription conclusions.) Shouldn't the steroid be helping the inflammation???
I'm a little freaked out, sorry if this is incoherent, they gave me percocett too.
Doesn't help with the nausea :(
What do you think??
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Any swelling causing so much of pain or changing in texture should be examined properly to know the cause. Actually many a times it is difficult for the antibiotic to penetrate through the slough and dead matter to reach the bacteria. In such cases the inflamed node (it may be an abscess too) would need to be removed and biopsied. I am sorry to say but cancer metastasis behave this way too. However there is one thing you must remember that I have not examined you. Nor is it possible to share detailed history on net. It is not the same as talking face to face. Hence you have to depend on the doctor who is examining you. I can only provide suggestions based on the information available.
Hope this helps. Do let me know if there is any thing else and keep me posted. Take care!
I thank you so very much for all of your input, I really do.
I saw the ENT yesterday and recieved some not so great news. He says he wants to keep me on the antibiotic as a formality. He's going to treat my pain for the next week & took me off the steroid to see how the swelling progresses. I go in a week from Monday to talk about a surgical biopsy.
He said that if it were an infection it should have been taken care of, if it were viral it would have come and gone. He looked my nose & throat over thoroughly and said that there are no signs of infections. So he's decided that he's looking into lymphoma.
He says he usually waits a month or so with swelling things to do a biopsy but he wants to do mine sooner. That sounds good in the respect that he wants it taken care of, but still sounds awfully bad. He said strangely enough, lymphoma isn't supposed to hurt though.
So do I have that on my side? Or does it sometimes hurt? I could see why it would hurt, swelling pressing on nerves & what nots. The neck is a very sensitive area. I don't know, I'm not a doctor.
Really, thank you for all of your input. I will definitely keep you posted. I may post in the meantime & get some company from you, I'm a little scared.
Thank you for helping with my care, can't stress that enough.
Hi again, haven't heard from you in a while.
I'm just curious, what are the chances of my biopsy coming back positive for lymphoma?
Is there anything else that this could be at this point? The doctor checked my throat and stuff for absesses and he said there are none.How serious of a cancer is lymphoma?
Won't my immune system not be good without my lymph node?
Any other feedback you could give me? (after reading this post and my last post)
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Yes, the lymph node can be lymphoma. However a lymphoma would give a disturbed blood count. These have been normal in your case. It can also be a cancer metastasis from say breast. You should examine your breast and axilla to check for any swelling there. Removing a single lymph node will cause no harm as there will be other in the area to effectively do its work too. The lymph node biopsy will tell for sure what it is. Relax! I know easier said than done. However anxiety and stress will not help in anyway.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Ooo, that's scary. Because my under arm, on my left side, the gland has been swollen there for months. The doctor told me it was hormonal and everything was fine. Maybe that's why this is swollen. Why this lymph node though? There are other lymph nodes on the way right? O_o
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Well I am just thinking aloud all the possibilities for you. I cannot be sure since I have not examined you. All axillary lymph nodes that persist, should as a routine be suspected to be cancer metastasis from breast. Also the drainage depends on the part of breast affected.
Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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