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Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Old Lump Back of Neck


 dlcbanana - Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:05 am

I am a 40 year old female. I can't remember exactly how long I have had this lump but I know it has been more than 5 years, probably closer to 7 or 8. I initially went to the doctor and he had an MRI done on my neck. When the results came back, he said it was nothing to worry about, probably a lymph node that was no longer working. He said he could remove it if I wanted but that it wasn't necessary. I opted not to have it removed due to the fact that it was close to my spine. It is on the left side, back of my neck. Sometimes it feels larger and then seems to get smaller but I really can't tell. I have noticed that it seems to be growing up and over where my spine would be. I may just be paranoid. My history includes detection and diagnosis of non-malignant liver tumors in 2001 which have been followed up on since then. They have gotten smaller. The doctors believe they were due to taking birth control. A liver biopsy was never done. Just CT's and MRI's by several doctors. I have no history of cancer in my family except my maternal grandfather who is 86 and has colon cancer. I am relatively healthy. I am 5'7" and weigh 160 lbs. I am a smoker (less than one pack a day) though I am perpetually trying to quit. :) I do not take any prescription drugs. Surgeries include tonsillectomy at age 16, exploratory surgery in my wrist at age 21, appendectomy at 35 and a removal of a benign breast lump at age 39. I still currently have pain and tingling in my arms especially at night and after exertion but have never followed up on finding out why. I saw a neurologist many years ago and he did a test and found out I had nerve damage and told me to try wearing elbow pads but he left the practice before my next appointment and I never followed up with a new doctor. Now I am wondering if the lump on my neck is causing the pain in my arms. I am mostly concerned that the growth may be cancer. It seemed illogical that the lump on my neck is cancer when I've had it for so long and haven't been sick. I haven't lost any weight without trying and I function as any other 40 year old. I am currently living in Japan with my husband who is in the military and stationed here. I don't have the highest regard for the medical doctors here and am hesitant about anyone cutting open my neck and possibly causing something like paralysis! What do you think? I realize its hard to provide a diagnosis over the internet but would appreciate your input.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:25 pm

User avatar Hello,

A swelling can be easier diagnosed if any associated symptoms exist. Direct clinical examination is very essential to define properly the characters of this swelling like its consistency, mobility, etc

It could be a lymph node, or small lipomas that tends to occur in some people in certain body areas. The nature of this swelling can be known only when it is removed and pathologically studied.

It is unlikely (although possible) for this swelling to be the cause of numbness in both arms but another MRI over the cervical spine would exclude Disc prolapse which may be the cause and would allow identification of any changes in this swelling.

In any case clinical examination and investigations are essential for differential diagnosis.

If your symptoms are progressing I advise you to seek direct medical consultation, do the required investigation, and find out what would the Doctor recommend for management.

If surgery is recommended and you do not prefer to do it over there at least you will know the cause of your problems and once you back you can go for surgery if your condition allows waiting.

Keep us updated.
Best regards.

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