Medical Specialty >> Surgery

Doctors Lounge - Surgery Answers

Back to Surgery 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: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Lump on the back of the neck - Should I be worried?

 Christian - Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:45 pm

Hello after reading all the articles concerning about lumps on the neck i have been extremely worried it. I am 18 years old and found more than 1 lump on the neck area. i found the first one when i was taking a shower one day, it was at the back of my neck on the bottom where my hairline is. i didnt think of it that much until i found others in the same area. There are 5 lumps in total, three of them are hard and the rest are soft to the touch. two of them are behind my left ear, one is on the left side of my neck, one is at the centre of my head at the back and the last is the first one ive found first which is at the bottom where my hairline is. As days gone by two of the hards ones seem to hurt by touch. when feeling it it feels delicate to touch because of the pain. the hard lumps are behind my ear and at the back of my head where my hairline is. Ive been getting these throbbing pains at the back too, it seems to come and go and im worried due to this other symptom...Not only do the lumps hurt but the back of my head does too when i put pressure on it, my sister could feel and see vague bumps aswell at the back and left side of my head.
i went to my gp and my doctor gave me tablets which are called flucloxacillin caps, ive been taking them 4 times a day for a couple of days now but still no result. Also took a blood test but will get my results in two weeks. i cant really wait that long for my results, paranoya is getting to me and its putting me down too. please help.

 lily_t26 - Sun Feb 20, 2005 2:41 pm

Hello Christian,

I share in your frustration. Since my last post, I haven't been able to visit my doctor (though I tried various times to make an appointment). And, since then, everyone's been telling me not to worry about the ominous lumps I have on the back of my neck. "They're small," they say. "And they've been there for so long w/ no visible change don't worry". Yet, I still worry. I can't help it; I'm a hypochondriac. But w/ college/scholarship apps...I just don't have time to act upon my worry.

I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. Hopefully, our doctors and family members are right and we don't have anything to worry about. I really hope that's the case. Please keep me posted on your situation...let me know what your doctor says. And maybe someone else, someone who can offer us some more information on our infamous lumps, will post soon.

Your fellow worrier,

P.S. sorry for not being of any "real" help. But, in case you didn't know, I've heard a number of times that if the lumps don't change in size, shape, color, etc., the problem really isn't as immediate as you're probably making it seem. In other words, if you do have anything malignant, it's slow-growing and waiting a couple of weeks for your doctor's response won't make your situation any worse. Yet, after saying all this, I can understand how difficult it is to wait...waiting really is worse than knowing.
 pmangelaj - Sat Apr 23, 2005 9:57 pm

Hi Lily,
I have had a hard lump on the back of my neck for a year or more. I always put it out of my mind, but lately Ive begun to wonder if I shouldnt get it checked out.
Do you have an update on yours? :)
 French60 - Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:11 am

My story sounds very similar but I have had my lumps for a long time two at my hairline at the back. My lumps stayed the same but my neck has gradually got more and more painfull and I finally think I have an answer. Deep tissue sports massage. I think my lumps are knotted muscle and that is what is causing my pains. Worth a try perhaps. I have searched high and low for a cure for my pains which everyone said was due to my Anklosing Spodylilitus and I find from my sports massage lady (who I only started seeing last week) that it is no wonder I am in so much pain because many of the muscles are not working in my shoulders. I have my fingers crossed with hope that this solves my problems and would be interested to hear what they say about yours. It has only taken me 10 years to find a solution but I feel very positive about it at the moment.
 lors22 - Sat Aug 20, 2005 5:31 am

i to have lumps on my neck i have 3 , 2 of them have went away and then returned i am under my doctor at the moment and get results from my blood test this tues iam concerned as i keep reading about neck and head cancer, i have a 6 month old son and am absoulutley terrified of leaving him if nething was to b serious with these lumps.. :(
 GQ_KC - Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:06 am 18 years old. and the past few years i have had these bumps on the back of my head just above my neck. as few years went by, i began peeling the skin off of it..ive kept the skin to see closely what it is....after peeling it, it starts bleeding at times. every time i touch it it feels as if its like a little tiny piece of flesh. i have maby around 10 of them....some are large and noticeable and i have no idea where or how i got them.

people at school and work ask me about it...and i always make up something like, im allergic to something i don't know. No one has ever had this in the family. I am the only one that has it. I can barely cut my hair bald because im scared of people giving me nasty looks.

i went to the doctor few times and he recomend me to go see a dermatologist. ive made an appointment with him next month and i was wondering if i can ask you experts what im facing with ahead of time. Is there a way to get rid of them quick and easy that does not include pain? My mom said to cut them off, but its going to hurt real bad and there will be alot of blood. I sometimes put polysporen on it but it doesent do a thing. i was hoping to get rid of it before it get any worse.

i have some photos for you to check out. (it may be disturbing)

 shanpopaluz - Thu Nov 10, 2005 1:02 am

Hi, I'm a 23 year old female, I get this very painful bump on the back of my neck about 2-3 times a month. I actually have one that stays on my neck, but it does'nt pain me at all. But I'm always growing a painful one in diffrent location on the back of my neck, and I notice they appear when ever the area im located at is hot, it dosent matter if im at home, work, or driving in my car, if its hot , the next day i'll pay for it. I've been to the doctor on many occasions, and they drain the bump, and patch it for seven days, but the pain hurts so bad, i try to attend to it myself by boiling hot water, as hot as i can stand it, and then putting on my neck with a rag until it gets soft and bust, then a lot of puss and blood drains out. but that makes it feel a lot better. can you tell me what does that sound like? i hope its not cancer, but please help me, im actually in pain right now! :cry:
 puppy - Sun Nov 20, 2005 11:24 pm

I am a survivor of hurricane katrina. I was stuck in the storm for six days after the fact. Apon arriving in Fl I noticed a hard lump on the right side of the back of my neck it has grown in the past few months and I noticed that I have 2 smaller ones popping up on the left side. Could this be from swimming in the water or what?
 lil_angel - Thu May 21, 2009 5:05 am

hi im 18 an have a lump on the left side of my neck its pea sized but very noticeable to others. its painful when touched i don't know how long its been there for but since iv realized it was there its been about 2 days. and my left side were the lump is is now swollen an way bigger then the right side of my neck kit seems to get bigger everyday im worried

could it be cancer or a bone out of place?
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:53 am

User avatar Hi christian,
Yourself as well as others have been rightly concerned about lumps in the back of the neck, mostly in an area just below the hairline. Based on the description, i would venture to say that the lumps are probably not lymph nodes, as there are no known lymph nodes in that area. That is an area prone to excessive sweating (esp if some of you happen to be living in the tropics or subtropics) and therfore more prone to skin infections such as furuncles. Also,the nape of the neck is an area where sebaceous cysts are fairly commonly found (and these get inflammed often).This can in turn lead to enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck.
But if lymph nodes in the neck persist despite antibiotic therapy, they need to be investigated.
 ASMA - Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:11 am

hi i am new on this site and don't know much how to use it my mother is 50 years old and is suffering from high blood pressure she use to had infection in her teeth n by that time she started feeling a lump small in size under her ear after two years it getting big in the mean time she visit some doctors who gave her medication for a week but no difference they could make finally now she visit a surgeon who have following test report and call her for operation she is very nervous and want to know if it could be cure from medicine or surgery is last solution kindly guide me as soon as possible
Specimen: FNA swelling left parotid area
Clinical Examination :Lump left parotid area since 2 years slowly increasing in size
Gross Examination: Three aspirates made from the lump
Microscopic Examination : Cytological examination of the aspirates reveal many poorly cohesive groups of bland looking epithelial cells. These cells are rounded to avoid and mainly plasmacytoid with abundant well defined cytoplasm. The nuclei of these cells are regular and have finely granular chromatin in between these cells there is fibrillary chondromyxoid substance which stains metachromaticaly.
this loose stromal tissue is distributed in strands un between these cells and contains myoepithelial cells. no evidence of malignant change is seen in these aspirates
Diagnosis: Pleomorophic Adenoma--- Lump Left Parotid Area
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:10 am

User avatar Hi,
It is not very clear from your account, the duration of the parotid swelling that your mother has. The FNAC report indicates a pleomorphic adenoma.

Pleomorphic adenomas of the parotid gland: 80% of parotid tumors are benign, of which 80% are pleomorphic adenomas, and 80% arise from the superficial lobe of the parotid.

Although it is classified as a benign tumor, pleomorphic adenomas have the capacity to grow to large proportions and may undergo malignant transformation to what is known as Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma. This risk increases with the duration.

In pleomorphic adenomas, delays in presentation often occur due to
- lack of pain or other symptoms, and
- apparent slow growth.

The reality is such that the longer surgery is delayed, risk of a malignant(cancerous) change increases. There is no alternative treatment option available presently. Therefore, i urge you to heed to the advise of your surgeon and persuade her to undergo surgery at the earliest convenience.
Good luck!

| 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