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Avatar universal

Small yet noticeable lump in neck.

I'm a 38 yr old male. About 4 months ago, while shaving, I noticed a lump on the right side of my neck, behind the hinge of the jaw under the ear. Not painful, no other symptoms. After 2 weeks I talked with a friend who is an MD, he said to watch it for another couple months. A week after that I had a cold for 2-3 days, which developed into a slightly productive cough which lingered for 3 weeks, then went away. The lump would fluctuate during the day, more noticeable in AM, much less so in PM. It is currently much smaller than it was, not visible at all, if I run my finger down my neck, I don't notice anything, but if I press into the muscle at the spot where the swelling was, I can feel a little rubbery/gristley bump, about the size of a small, or maybe even half a small out-of-the-shell sunflower seed. Still slightly more noticeable in the morning than in the evening. Still no other symptoms, weight is steady between 160-165 (I'm 5'10"), energy is fine, appetite good. No history of cancer in the family, HIV risk factors practically non-existent (the only unprotected sex in the last 11 yrs was in two long-term monogomous relationships). At what point, if it were something serious like Lymphoma, would other symptoms start to appear, and would it be bigger than it is? I'm currently uninsured, and am terrified of getting it checked out and discovering it's something that will destroy my insurability for the rest of my life. I don't want to be the boy who cried wolf, but it's been weighing on my mind constantly. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks.
2 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Any type of upper respiratory or head and neck infection can enlarge the lymph nodes.  This is normally a transient enlargement and will resolve once the infection is appropriately treated.

If it persists, imaging the area can be considered with a CT scan.  A referral to an ENT physician can be considered to biopsy the lesion.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_
Avatar universal
I have noticed recently that I have a lump on the side of my neck. I looked at a diagram that showed where the lymph nodes were placed. The lump seemed to be where, what is called, the deep cervical nodes are. If you were to draw a line straight down from where my hairline begins behind my hear and go half way down the neck the lump would be right there. It is quite concerning. I am only 20 years old and have a fear of getting cancer as I am sure most people are with the frequency of times everybody hears about it through friends, media, and family. My assumption is that if the lump reduces in size it isn't cancer but if it stays like that or grows it is most likely cancer. Is this a correct assumption and is there any signs or symptoms I need to look for.
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