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Very Scared

Hello,
Four months ago I found palpable lymph node on the left side of my neck, inch below my jaw bone. It is about size of a kidney bean, firm, but not rock hard, little rubbery, movable. When I head straight, it feels very small. When I bend my neck right, feels larger, about described size. No pain, not visible, no swelling, doesn't grows. My GP said it is normal, I stopped thinking about it. Then my anxiety kicked in. I went to ENT doctor, he examined my neck, and he said that this is submandibular gland and it is there because when we age some of them tend to lower down. I was so nervous. After I left, I figured out that he probably did not feel what I wanted him to feel. I went to another ENT doctor, and he said that this is a normal lymph node. He didn't even wanted to order ultrasound. He told me not to loose my sleep and relax. He also said that could be form my scalp psoriasis. Still looking for reassurance, I went back to my GP, he said the same thing. Run my complete blood panel, everything came back normal. I became obsesses why it is still there because I am scared I have cancer. I live in constant fear. I have itchy throat since couple of weeks (ac?), impacted wisdom teeth that never came up, had some gum problems (didn't floss much for years), psoriasis, chronic stuffed nose, stress at work and school....and lots of anxiety because the lump is still there. My neck feel tense since couple of days and I am not doing well emotionaly. Please tell me what do you think.
10 Responses
1686908 tn?1307197390
Hi rocky, it sounds like a lymph gland.  It could be enlarged because of any irritation or dental problem, and sometimes they hurt like crazy too!  It sounds like you got alot of different doctors opinons and they are all the same diagnosis.  The dental problems can sure make the glands bigger, and also you mention itchy throat and stuffed up which sounds like some sort of allergy maybe and that can make glands and nodes larger.  And tense muscles can make them larger too, see lymph fluid travels through the nodes, muscle contractions are what push the fluid along through the body.  If you are tense and your muscles are really tight and knotted, the fluid doesn't move well and the glands/nodes can enlargen.  It sounds like you could really use a massage to relax and also there are massage therapists who have special training on doing lymph drainage, which helps move the fluid out of the nodes so that would help bring down the swelling in that node.  Might be worth it for you to get an appt and let them see what they can do to help you not only relax but get the node down to the right size.  If you need a referral to a therapist near you, send me a message with the nearest towns/cities near you.  Tina
Avatar universal
Thanks Tinabudde,
I am definitely tensed because of my anxiety that is sky high now because fear of cancer. The itchy throat disappeared. The node is the same since about 4 months. I started touching it since yesterday again, and now I feel weird very light sensation on my neck radiating to my chest. Is it my anxiety? I don't want to go back to the doctor and nag them for more test because it makes me more anxious. I went through major sinus/flu/cold last January and I didn't stay home because I had to work. Is it possible the node is a normal size but palpable?????
Avatar universal
Anybody wants to share their experience?
1686908 tn?1307197390
Hi Rocky, it could be normal but you never noticed it before.  The area you describe below the jawline but sort of under the ear is called the waterwheel, it's a major node that carries junk out of the body and many times that's the one that becomes larger and inflammed if there is any ear, dental, sinus, cold, flu type illness going on.  Same with allergies.  I would just have the dr check it when you go next time and try not to worry about it.  If you turn your head to the side it does make it stick out more.
Avatar universal
Hello Tina,
Thank you for keeping me sane ;-). The node is located more under my chin. Right under submandibular gland. I decided to stop touching it and see how it goes. It is small around 4-5 mm in length and 3mm in width doesn't change. Now, because all of that I fight panic attacks on daily basis. Do you know how long it takes for the nodes to get back to normal after flu, some dental problems? May they enlarge and stay larger than initially (kind of knot)? I also decide to pick on my scalp psoriasis. The massage is a good idea, I have tens neck and back for years from anxiety. Thank you again for your answers. It helps a lot.
  
Avatar universal
You have seen a number of doctors who have all told you it is normal. So deep deep down you know it is normal and not cancer.
If your anxiety is affecting your daily functioning, relationships, work, sleeping, eating, then consider speaking to your doctor about that. I know it is no fun living with a health anxiety. In some ways there is no point being cancer free if you are living in an unhappy anxious state. Medication can help but in my experience the best treatment is exercise, exercise and more exercise, listening to upbeat music, doing things with friends, helping other folk, doing charity work, listening to upbeat music, and never sleeping during the day.
Good luck and take care.
Avatar universal
All you said Pum is true. I have a problem with daily functioning because my anxiety. I  started CBT therapy not long time ago and take minimum amount of benzo. I tried so many different things. I have severe side effects form SSRI's. What works for you?
Avatar universal
Exercise. I haven't needed SSRI's for a few years now. It might also be age. As I've gotten older I've got less anxious.

Keep up with the CBT and remember to exercise.
Avatar universal
Any other advice? Supplements?
Avatar universal
???
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