Lump in Neck

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Lump in Neck

by Twrecks on Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hey guys. I've had this lump in my neck that I discovered right around Oct-Nov of last year (2005). I figured it might have been due to a cold or something that I had right around that time but kept an eye on it. The thing that really got me noticing it was I was shaving and noticed that my neck on the right side is a bit concave in a small area of the neck, almost as though it is sunken in ever so slightly. I couldn't believe that in all my 28 years that I hadn't noticed it before. I figured that it was the area above that which was swollen, but after feeling around a bit lower with my fingers for a bit under the concave area, I hit the lump. BOOM! That shouldn't be there... Well, after it hadn't gone away in a couple months, I decided to make an appointment with my GP (this was in January). He checked it out, said it's most likely a swollen lymph node that could have been caused by the cold that I had at the time and he said he's seen 1000s of these and they usually take a bit of time to go down. He gave me the standard "take 2 of these and call me in the morning answers" (more like wait a couple months and if it doesn't go down by then, schedule a follow-up with me). I ended up waiting until the end of February and it was still there. So off to the doctor's I go again. This time, he pokes around and says basically the same thing - nothing to worry about. I ask him if it's a cyst, because I've had a history of getting them on my chest and back since I was about 17, and he says it's definitely not a cyst, but certainly a mass that's most likely benign. Because it doesn't hurt at all, he said not to worry about it and to only call him if it starts to hurt. When asked about any sort of tests, he sort of got pissed that I was second (or third?) guessing his opinion saying that he can't really schedule a biopsy until it's about the size of a quarter. Pats me on the back and shows me to the door... Fast forward to the present day, 8 months later. While the lump is movable (doesn't seem fixed under the skin, but it will "snap" back into place if I play with it), it seems like it's gotten a bit bigger. It's hard to tell because I poke at it a few times a day to see if it's still there, but it's about the size of the end of my pinky finger. I've also become real aware of the fact that I sometimes get hardcore night sweats when I'm sleeping due to the fact that it IS one of the outlying symptoms of lymphoma, but my girlfriend says not to worry about it because apparently I've been like a sweaty toaster oven at night ever since we've been together (going on 7 years now) and I kind of remember waking up during my teens with soaked sheets from sweating all night too. I'd say that I've also lost about 10lbs over the course of the last 8 months (used to be 205lbs, now 195) but I've seriously cut down on the amount of fast food that I used to eat and sometimes have to skip a meal (have a house and a baby now - limits $$$ for lunch at work!) so I'm pretty sure that's how I've managed to drop some pounds. I guess that's about it. I was wondering if anybody here has an opinion on what the hell might be going on. My doc seems reluctant to order a biopsy and is steadfast in his opinion that it's just a run-of-the-mill neck lump that he sees day-in, day-out and he's reiterated that both times I've seen him about it. The thought of doing a blood test or something else probably didn't even cross his mind, he dismissed it so fast! So here I am to ask people here who have gone through the same thing! Kudos to those who made it through my marathon post and I look forward to any response that might come my way (be it good, "listen to your doctor, he's right" answers or doom and gloom "it's been eight months! what's taking the doc so long to look into it?!" answers...

Lump

by Oncrx on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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your doc is right about one thing, most swollen glands are NOT cancer. However its wise to be concerned. The most common symptom for lymphoma is usually painless, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or underarms. Some people may also experience enlarged lymph nodes in other parts of the body, such as the spleen, groin, legs, or ankles. Also, swelling can occur in the abdomen, where the enlarged lymph nodes may cause discomfort or a bloated feeling. Other common symptoms include fever, fatigue and anemia, nights sweats and weight loss. The patient may also show an increase in infections, resulting from lowered numbers of functioning white blood cells and an impaired immune system. In most cases, however, the patient experiences no pain during the early stages of the disease. A CBC blood test should show some of this but a biopsy of an affected lymph node is the only way be be sure. Have you had a CBC and do you know the results? Thats step one. You should be able to get the results from the office.

Lump

by Morton on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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Run do not walk and go to oncologist and have The lump biopsy - i can not believe a Doctor would give you this advise - I was handled the same way and it ended up To be lymphoma - i do not know if would have Helped to find out earlier. All your symptoms tell me to test it. Morris

Swollen Neck

by Melissah0704 on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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You are getting good advice here. You already knew yourself that you are not getting the proper treatment from your doctor. Been there, done that, found another doctor, prayed for accurate results and BINGO...Cancer...although I really didn't expect it. Anyway, it's time to give up your doctor. He may want to do your own worrying, but he can't do your own dying (not that you are dying). Anyway, you know what to do. Fire him and find someone who will listen to you. Melissa

Lump on Neck

by Marylee on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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Two years my doctor also found a bean size lump on my neck just above the collor bone. It ordered a cat scan of my neck and arms pits. Cat scans showed enlarged lymph nodes, 2 weeks later a biopcie showed 3rd stage folllicullar non-hodgins lymphoma. 4 months of chemo got me a remission. This year it was back and a new drug Zevalin specific to the above lymphoma took it away again. My doctor too said it was probably nothing, but he ordered the cat scan and then an appointment with an oncologist. This all took about four weeks before treatment began. This year I went o Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion IL. Cancer is again in remission. You may have no more than a beneign lump but if it is cancer you don't want it going into 3rd or 4th stage (which is in your bone marrow) I was lucky enough to catch it in 3rd stage. I don't mean to freak you out, but make an appointment with an oncologist at once. Cat scans are the first step, but Pet scans are better as any cancer tumors (that hold more sugar) show up on a Pet scan and you light up light a christmas tree. I am also fortunate enough to have insurance for all of this. Best of luck. God Bless you. Janet

Lump in Neck

by Janicetheresa on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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I had a lump in on my neck about a year ago. I went through the normal procedures--primary doctor, dentist, root canal.... I then followed up with a throat doctor and she said to keep an eye on it and if it changed any to come back to see her. Well, to make a long story short, I went back to see my throat doctor as I noticed a change. She immediately scheduled me for a biopsy which showed little. She also ordered that a tissue sample be taken and sent off to the lab. Come to find out, I have Hotgkins Lymphoma in very early stage. I then followed up with the oncology department and am now on the road to recovery. Early detection is very important. I was fortunate to have a doctor that followed up with additional testing. I was fortunate I was in good hands and followed through with all the necessary testing and didn't need a second opinion. Have you seen a specialist (throat doctor)? or had any tests done (biopsy....?)

Lump in Neck

by A_S_4 on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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Pursue you feelings. I was 29 years old. I had the same - first it was the size a pea - told I had a virus in my lymph system - became size of an almond - finally a biopsy - Hodgkins. That was 25 years ago. Good luck

Thanks Guys

by Twrecks on Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:00 AM

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Thanks a lot guys. I seriously didn't expect this many answers this soon, but I really appreciate the input. I guess I'm sick and tired of worrying and there's only one way to find out, so back to the doctor I go to see if I can get a second opinion from someone else on this. Also, I live in Canada so I really don't know how to book a spot with a specialist (oncologist). I don't think we're able to just flip open the yellow pages and call an oncologist right on the spot. I'm thinking that it might have to go through the chain of command (doctor makes appointment for me) because the government probably prefers it's done like that, but man, you guys have me nervous! Wish me luck! :)

Lump

by Jrinku on Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:00 AM

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Well, here's another person telling you what to do. I had to respond since your story sounded very similar to mine except my GP pursued conclusiveness and ordered cbc test , sed rate test and eventually a cat scan, which all came back normal. But the lump remained, so I went to a specialist (ears,nose throat). He recommended a biopsy. Do not do a needle biopsy since they are not conclusive, you need the entire node examined. I too, was going crazy during this period; not knowing what your status is very stressful. My results came back as SLL, which is a form of non Hodgkins lymphoma. A local onc had me do a pet scan and bone marrow biopsy and they came back good. The biggest advice out of this, is to get additional opinions. I wanted my path results reviewed by a cancer center who had their own lymphoma group (sort of a specialist within an already specialized field) so I went to Univ of Penn. for 2nd opinions. After 2 months of living with a cancer diagnosis, they came back and found by biopsy to not be definitive; they could not and would not diagnose me with lymphoma. WOW! My local doctors wanted me to receive treatment and get pet scans every 3 months and the renowned cancer center tells me to just get routine blood work annually. I hope yours is just benign but if it isn't DON'T rush any treatments; do your own research from proper sources and go to the best facilities you can. Doctors and facilities that are more experienced do make a difference. The same thing happened with my wife who had breast cancer; locally they staged her as 2 and when her slides were redone at Fox Chase and Sloan Kettering (both reputable cancer centers), they both staged her as 1A. The difference meant not treating with chemotherapy! Chris, question everything and remember,you are your own best advocate. If you receive a diagnosis, I would strongly recommend you order a Moss Report(cancerdecisions.com). It gives you credible research for over 200 varieties of cancer, it was well worth the money ($297). He focuses on both conventional and alternative treatments. Good luck/stay positive! You'll be OK.

Get Biopsy Asap

by Beasely on Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:00 AM

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When I read your message I wondered if you had some type of managed care. That is apparently why they don't want to proceed. I had Lymphoma 4 years ago in my intestines. I was treated with chemotherapy. In October of 2005 I had a swollen left tonsil and a knot on my neck at the same area of the tonsil. I was treated for pharyngitis first because I couldn't talk. I took 7 days of antibiotics afterwhich I could talk but the tonsil was still swollen. I went to another doctor who said it was a virus and would be gone in 10 days. It was not gone so I went back to my first doctor and told her that I wanted to make sure this was not lymphoma again. She looked scared and sent me for a consult regarding my tonsil and a CT scan. The CT scan showed the lump and the tonsil but not diagnostic for anything. The ENT took out my tonsil and sent it for pathology. It showed lymphoma but they didn't preserve it well enough so part of the cancer cells disappeared. They then took out the cervical lymph node and Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma along with follicular cell lymphoma was diagnosed. I have been treated with chemotherapy and stem cell transplant. I am doing very well on my road to recovery. EARLY DIAGNOSIS IS THE KEY TO SURVIVAL. You do need to push physicians especially in managed care to find the problem. My lymphoma both times was stage I. The further it progresses before treated lessens survival rate. I am an oncology RN and we have only lost patients to lymphoma after it spread too far making it impossible for the doctors to cure. You need a biopsy of that lump, it needs to be preserved correctly for a lymphoma check and it needs to be done as soon as possible. It may be nothing and that will be a relief to you. By the way Lymphoma is not painful.
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