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lump behind right ear, doctor would not see us

My boyfriend developed a lump behind his right ear that hurts when touched.  It recently began to swell and gave him nerve pain that shot down his neck and shoulder, he also experienced a headache from this on the right side if his head.  We went to the emergency room (no insurance so no one else would see him) and the physician's asst. touched his neck and told him it was a cyst.  She referred him to an ear, nose and throat doctor.  I am concerned that this is not a proper diagnosis since all they did was touch his neck for a few seconds...no further tests.  I have no idea who to turn to next for potential help...any ideas?  He is also a former cancer patient, 6 years in remission...the doctors knew this when they saw him.  Thank you for any advice!!
3 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
If there is a previous history of cancer (I am not sure which cancer it was), then the painful lump behind the ear could be a cancer metastasis. It can also be an infected cyst or an abscess or boil. You will have to try to get some medical aid, say a free clinic or something because this needs further investigations. A fine needle aspiration should be done to know what is there inside the lump and do a cytology study to see what it is made up of.
Hope this helps. Take care!
1289299 tn?1274814546
well the person that told you that might be right so maybe you should go just in case for safety and it might help especially if it's behind his neck it could swell up and close his throat...brittany
910419 tn?1289487327
Do you have a free clinic nearby that you could go to? Sometimes hospitals will offer free clinic days to help the uninsured.

It concerns me that your bf has a history of cancer and (it seems) the PA didn't take that into serious consideration. If nothing else, you might want to go back to the ER and cross your fingers that you get a different PA this time.

Good luck,

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