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Suboccipital? Lump in back of neck - itchy, painful - 6 months

Hello, thank you for taking the time to read my post.

About 6 months ago I felt a small lump in the left side of my neck, I believe it is located by or is the Suboccipital lymph node. It's no bigger then 1cm and you can ALMOST not feel it when touching from the outside, but definitely is there and feels very uncomfortable for me as I can most definitely feel it inside the neck muscle. At about a month after I had it checked and they said "probably due to an infection", went back again in a month and had the same thing told to me, but honestly I don't think they even believed it was anything since you can barely feel it from the outside. It now is itchy and if I touch the area it is modestly painful even a couple of inches away from the lump itself.

It has now been 6 months since I first realised it was there - it hasn't gotten bigger but it sure feels more painful. The lump moves EVER so slightly upward when I swallow and seems like it is deeper into the muscle then I can feel.. kind of like it just barely can be felt outside of the skin.

Not sure if it is relevant but 2 years back I had a hemangioma removed from my hand - it formed out of nowhere and was just a small blue hard round sack that needed removal.

My question is what is this likely to be, should I be worried, honestly I would prefer it to be removed because it is causing me pain and obviously it could be something worse. What are the worst and best case scenarios here?


Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to any help.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
when you touch the lump, does it move?
Avatar universal
Umm, I would have to say not really. It definitely doesn't move freely with the skin, it feels embedded into the muscle. - you can try to push it but your finger will just slide over it. Hope this helps, thank you.
Avatar universal
Oh also I should mention - I am 20 years old, Male
Avatar universal
That's great news that the lump does not move. If it moves it most likely can be cancerous. I have had the same exact lump that you have. It was small then it kept on getting larger and I was scheduled to go in for a surgery procedure to get it removed. Well don't you know the day before my surgery, the lump totally went away so I cancelled the surgery. A couple of months later the lump came back and got really big. On the outside it looked like a golf ball. So I got really worried and ended up going in for surgery to get it removed. The lump was the size of a baseball when the doctor removed it. It was just a benign tumor and was not cancerous. This lump grew inside of my gland in my neck which is very rare. They usually grow on the gland. If I were you I would go to the doctor and get it removed and have them test it to see if it was cancerous. My doctor told me that if you touch the lump and it moves freely its cancerous, if it dosn't move then its non cancerous and is just a benign tumor.
Good Luck.
Avatar universal
Hi, thanks so much for your response!! This is excellent news. I can finally relax at hearing this until I can go to the doctor to have them examine/remove it. I'm very glad yours was able to be removed safely, that would scare me to no end if it were to grow anywhere near that large, even golfball size.

Now that it's been here for atleast 6 months I am pretty sure they'll listen when I tell them I know it shouldn't be there and something needs to be done about it. The thing about where I live here in Canada as well is that it is very difficult to get a family doctor and so I am forced to only visit walk-in clinics, so I can only see doctors who I've never been to before. I'm really hoping next time they'll listen though, and if not I will go to another until something is done.

Thank you so much again for sharing this information with me, it sure makes me feel quite a bit better, and I'll post anything new that I can after I see another physician.

Hope you have a great day :)
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