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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest and neck and other

 trolley - Sat Sep 24, 2005 5:31 am

Ok, this is gonna be a long one, and i didn't really know where to put it, so i hope someone can help.

Ok, first off I'm a 16 yr old male, and a bit of a hypocondriac.
About 2 months ago, I felt a small lump on my left side of my neck half way between my shoulder and jaw. It feels like it was attached to muscle. I wasn't too worried, although i'd had the odd headache and dizzy spell in the month that followed. but after about a month it still hadn't gone down. So i started feeling around the rest of my neck, and found another lump, just tucked under my jaw below the ear, on the left again.

At this point i panicked, as i'd read all too many stories in those stupid women's magasines and online about harmless lumps turning out to be cancer. I looked into it on the internet and then proceeded to worry myself sick. I was convinced i had Hodkins disease. After much poking i discoved another lump on the right side of my neck, in the middle again, though a touch lower than the first one. This one felt a bit softer than the other two.

(at this point i should point out I don't know how long they'd been there, this was just when i found them.)
Over the following 3 or 4 days as i waited to see the doctor i started to get headaches, dizzyness, and an achy neck. I also found another lump under my jaw on the right side, which felt like a couple of lumps on a string close together.
When i finally saw the doctor, he examined me and thought that i might have glandular fever, and sent me for a blood test to be sure. I was relieved that it was probably something else, even though my neck pains got worse and my tiredness increased for the week that followed. when by blood test results came back, they said i didn't have Glandular Fever, so I just had a virus.

At this point i started to worry again. What if the doctor had missed something? The neck pains died down slightly and i felt a bit less tired. I had found another lump at the top of my neck on the left in line with my ear, slightly off centre from the middle of my head. It was tiny, and it could have always been there, but i started panicing again. I also found a larger lump, which feels more like a muscle, just above my collarbone on the right. It feels like it's a muscle because it's long rather than a lump. I get/got the odd twitch in in it like a little flinch in a muscle i can't control. It also feels connected to that lump in the middle of my neck on the right.

I also started to feel a shortness of breath at times. If i exerted myself it took me forever to catch my breath, and i could suddenly feel puffed out when i was standing still or even sitting down.l I started to get the odd chest pain, or a feeling of needing to cough when there was nothing to cough. I went back to the doctor, the fear of what could be wrong outweighing the fear of having "NUTTER" stamped on my personal file. He did a number of tests: i breathed into a tube thingy, he listened to my chest, he put a thing like a clothes peg on the end of finger to test the oxygen in my blood, and said everything was fine, i just had a virus. but he sent me for an ECG to allay any fears he seemed to see i had.

I had the ECG yesterday and it showed up fine. In the past week between seeing the doctor and having the ECG i've also been feeling pains in my abdomen. I.'ve also noticed that the right side of my body feels tender to poke, both front and back, like it's become ticklish, which i don't feel on the left side. The chest pains, or heavy feeling has become more frequent, and since getting up today it's been pretty constant, although remaining very mind. I also noticed the big lump above my collar bone also seems to have a pea sized lump on it/beside it (can't tell).
So if you're still reading, here's a sum-up:

I don't know what symtoms are connected, what's always been there, and what's just being over exagerrated in my head. Like i said i'm a big hypocondriac, and i'm still worried i have somthing seriously wrong with me, like cancer. Would my doctor have been able to rule it out and just hasn't told me? I can't go back to my doctor, i feel stupid enough as it is, but i need to know if i'm being stupid or if i should get a second opinion.

thanks to anyone who's read this mammoth, i'd be immensely grateful for any help or putting my mind at rest.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:37 pm

User avatar Dear trolley,

The swellings you have described that are felt in both sides of the neck are probably enlarged lymph nodes as they occur in a lymph node region, however this must be confirmed by your physician.

Abnormal lymph node enlargement tends to commonly result from infection / immune response, cancer and less commonly due to infiltration of macrophages filled with metabolite deposits (eg, storage disorders).

Sometimes, following infection lymph nodes occasionally remain permanently enlarged, though they should be non-tender, small (less the 1 cm), have a rubbery consistency and none of the characteristics described for malignancy or for infection. These are also known as 'Shotty Lymph nodes'.

Nodes are generally considered to be normal if they are up to 1 cm in diameter; however, some authors suggest that epitrochlear nodes larger than 0.5 cm or inguinal nodes larger than 1.5 cm should be considered abnormal.

An increase in nodal size on serial examinations is significant. Hence nodes that continue to grow in size are important and those that regress in size tend to be more reassuring.

A Conventional US study with or without Doppler can help in confirmation of the nature of this swelling. CT scan also would confirm the presence of a Lymph node.

The personal and medical history as well as the clinical examination gives a good idea about the possibility of this node to be of malignant Origin. Further investigations include, US guided FNAC or biopsy.

Anxiety can cause many somatic symptoms including headache, dizziness, abdominal, chest pain and breathing difficulty.

If your doctor had doubts that you have cancer he would not have waited to give you therapy.
Keep on follow up with your doctor and keep us updated.
Best regards,

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