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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Very strange lump on neck

 orangehut - Wed Dec 13, 2006 8:57 pm

I have read a lot of information about lymph nodes online and haven't seen this come up too often. I should also say that I just got health insurance a few days ago and plan to see a dr. as soon as they can see me, so this is just to ease my mind a little.

About 3 months ago (august), I noticed a swollen painful lump behind my ear and one in the middle of my neck on the right side. I had just had an ear infection, so I assumed it was just a reaction to that. The one behind my ear went down, but the one on my neck stayed swollen (not huge, maybe a cm. and a half). The lump was firm but not rock hard, and was not fixed to the skin. Then about a month later (end of september), a wisdom tooth came in and became infected. I tried and tried not to touch this lump but I did anyways, don't know if that makes a difference. Well, about two weeks ago, the lump started getting smaller, about the size of a pea, and now I can barely feel it at all. I have to stretch my neck up, but I can still feel a small, lentil-sized lump.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this, I've been making myself crazy with anxiety.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:10 am

User avatar Hello,

Abnormal Lymph node enlargement tends to commonly result from infection / immune response, cancer.

Sometimes, following infection Lymph nodes 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 (hard, fixed, increasing progressively in size). These are also known as 'Shotty Lymph nodes'.

Individuals with history of recurrent upper respiratory, ear, throat infections tend to have clinically palpable lymph nodes. So, the probability that the lymph node you have noticed is due to previous infection in the area drained by this lymph node group is highly possible.

Nodes are generally considered to be normal if they are up to 1 cm in diameter.

Of significance, an increase in nodal size on serial examinations. Hence nodes that continue to grow in size are important and those that regress in size tend to be more reassuring.

According to your description , these nodes are more likely to be enlarged as a reaction to previous infections and they behave in a normal physiological reassuring way.

Direct clinical examination is essential.

Keep us updated.
Best regards.

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