Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: lump on the right side at the back of the neck

 chrispacket - Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:57 pm

my wife is 44 she is reasonably healthy except for a consistant non productive cough she gets quite regularly anyway about a week ago she noticed a lump about the size of a piece of corn at the back of her neck just below her hairline it is painless and not very mobile,she has been to her doctor and was told that it is a swollen lymph node and that she has a few more on her neck and that she was to come back in 2-4 weeks if the swelling had not gone down, she has not got any infection that she is aware of so does this mean it could be serious or do we need to play the waiting game and hope it goes down i am pretty scared having read the other posts in the forum
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:03 am

User avatar Hello,

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 tend to be firm, tender, enlarged and warm. Inflammation can spread to the overlying skin, causing it to appear reddened.

Lymph nodes harboring malignant disease tend to be firm, non-tender, matted (ie, stuck to each other), fixed (ie, not freely mobile but rather stuck down to underlying tissue), and increase in size over time.

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'.

If after evaluation the lymph node enlargement is unexplained, then your doctor may choose to put you under observation for 3 to 4 weeks and then re-evaluate these nodes. The doctor may also recommend a course of antibiotics based on his evaluation.

If it persists after a period of observation then the patient should seek medical attention which may require further investigations using ultrasonography and FNAC or an excisional biopsy.

There should be no harm in waiting. If you notice any increase in size or any new nodes appearing then report to your doctor immediately.

Best regards,
 chrispacket - Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:17 pm

Thank You Doctor For Your Quick Response,I Must Admit I Am More Nervous Than My Wife But So Far There Is No Change So I Hope This Is A good Sign, We Will Leave It For A Few More Weeks And Keep Our Fingers Crossed But I Will Keep Posting
 chrispacket - Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:15 pm

Well It Has Been 2 Weeks Since My Wife Went To The Doctors And The Lymph Node Has Not Changed At All In Size "Is This Normal" ? She Is Still Going Back To The Doctors At The Start Of The New Year So I Hope Everything Checks Out Okay

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us