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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: Lymph nodes??

 musician1 - Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:18 pm

Hi all,

I am a 23 year old male, previously in average to good health. I used smokeless tobacco for approx 2 years (yes, I AM an idiot). Around Christmas time, after driving home in my car, i noticed that my entire throat (both left and right sides) and neck was inflamed. At the time, I felt that this might be due to mold in my car (there was quite a bit in it, and you could smell it---it has since been cleaned), as the trip was around 5.5 hours long. I didn't think too much of it, and when i would go to Church and sing, my vocal endurance was not very good (I am a musician, but not a trained singer). I thought that perhaps it was GERD since I do have quite a bit of acid reflux. Several weeks passed by and I noticed that I had a ""lump"" on the right side of my neck. At first I thought it was a lymph node, but here's the issue. I can see no visible node. The muscle (sternomastoid (sp)) on the right side is very taut and firm. I cannot feel a node however. Based on my info, is this a node or is it muscular?

BTW, I found this "thing" about 2.5 weeks ago. To my knowledge, no one in my immediate family has ever had oral cancer.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:06 pm

User avatar Hello,

If got correctly the information you provided, you have got a sore throat, followed by a swelling in the right side of the neck, but you do not feel a lump and your muscle on that side is in spasm.
Clinical examination is essential for the initial evaluation of any swelling.

Diagnosis of a swelling becomes easier if there are any associated symptoms or signs. You have mentioned that you have got a sort of sore throat or upper respiratory tract infection recently before you felt a swelling on the right side of the neck.

The swelling you have described that is felt on the Right upper side of the neck could be an enlarged Lymph nodes as it occurs in a Lymph node region.

When infections and inflammations are controlled they regress in size but never to normal size. Though they should be non-tender, small (less the 1 cm), have a rubbery consistency thus known as 'Shotty Lymph nodes'. You normally do not see them but you may feel them by palpation.

Your muscles on that side are in spasm which could be for many causes including improper posture , viral infection, local inflammation etc. May be related to the inflamed Lymph nodes in that area, and may be unrelated.
It is possible also that the swelling you felt is due to the spastic muscle.

Direct clinical examination is essential.

I advise you to follow up with your doctor.
Keep us updated.
Best regards.

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