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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Painful Lump on Head

 kups - Tue May 15, 2007 12:11 am

I am a 36 year old female. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a painful lump behind my ear on the scalp (height is about the top of the ear, starts at the hairline). It is probably about 2 cm big. I went to the doctor today & was told is was probably a cyst or lipoma. He said it was moveable & not hard. My question is can this possibly be an enlarged lymph node. I asked the doctor & he said he did not think so. I was just very concerned about the size & suddenness with which the lump can on.

Thank you.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Jun 14, 2007 3:02 pm

User avatar Hello,

The fact that this swelling is painful makes the possibility of infection and inflammation very high.

According to your and your doctor description (the lump is behind the ear but more close to the hair follicle, mobile and soft to firm) makes two possible causes very considerable.
- Abnormal Lymph node enlargement commonly results from infection. Follicultis is commonly seen in this area of skin where hair follicles get infected and may result in a secondary lymph node swelling behind the ear.

- A lipoma is also possible as your doctor told you and when infected it gets bigger in size and painful.

A course of antibiotic prescribed by your doctor will help in alleviating your symptoms and in making the diagnoses more clear.

Exclusion of other causes like cancer is essential especially if the lesion doesn’t subside on treatment or others appear .

Serial clinical examination and follow up of the lesion size is essential.

Keep us updated.
Best regards.

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