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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Hard Lumps

 PrettynPunk - Wed Mar 22, 2006 8:52 am

Im a 21 year old female,no past diagnoses, no past surgeries, history:diabetes and colon cancer.
Ok one day i was in class and i always pull on my earlob, so this time i was playing with my sideburns and noticed a hard lump that was kind of under and slighty in front of my earlobe. So I paniced and asked my teacher to take a look at it since shes a medical assistant. And she said it might be a cyst. So the next day it was still there and it hurt a lot, and its been ther for maybe a week, maybe longer and Im jus noticeing it. But then a few days ago I fing another lump jus a bit under the first one and this one is like under my jaw in my neck area, nad it hurts to. And the same day i found the second lump my Eye was swollon and i think its cus i took out my eyebrow ring.
But my question to you is could these lumps I found be cancerous or like tumors?

 Theresa Jones, RN - Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:54 am

User avatar Hi PrettynPunk,
Please confirm the nature of your finding by direct clinical examination by your physician. It is probably a lymph node it occurs in a lymph node region, however this must be confirmed by your physician. The preauricular lymph nodes are located in front of the ears. They drain the eyelids and conjunctivae, temporal region, pinna. Common causes of enlargement include diseases of the external auditory canal. The submandibular lymph nodes are located along the underside of the jaw on either side. They drain the tongue, submaxillary gland, lips and mouth, conjunctivae. Common causes of enlargement include infections of head, neck, sinuses, ears, eyes, scalp, pharynx. 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). Infected Lymph nodes however, tend to be firm, tender, enlarged and warm. Inflammation can spread to the overlying skin, causing it to appear reddened. 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'. Upon evaluation your physician may watch and wait for a 3-4 week time period to see if there are any changes or treat with a course of antibiotics if he/she suspects an underlying infection. An increase in nodal size on serial examinations is significant. I would suggest an evaluation by your physician.
Theresa Jones, RN

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