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Old 03-23-2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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countrypumpkins HB User
Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

I sure hope someone has had similar symptoms and can offer help! I am a 46 year old female. 3 years ago I went to dr for a knot on the right side of my neck under my ear and along the jaw line. He checked everything he could to see what kind of infection I might have and even though he couldn't find anything he prescribed antibiotics and said if things didn't get better we would get a biopsy. I didn't have insurance at the time and the lump decreased in size. A year later I was given Bactrim by a different dr for the same problem and had some serious side effects from the drug. When I went to the ER, the dr said I had a swollen salivary gland. He did not seem concerned, sent for a CT scan which showed nothing, gave me antibiotics and sent me on my way. A year later I went back to the first dr and he gave me antibiotics again and said to go see an EMT. I did a week later. The EMT stated that it was my carotid artery and there was apparently some irritation on it and to quit taking the antibiotics and start taking anti inflamitory drugs every day until it goes away. I told him it had been there 2 years and hasn't gone away yet. He was unconcerned and charged me 250 for the visit and sent me on my way. So now, I just hit my 3 year mark. My lovely daughter in law found me another ENT because now the knot is causing me pain when I lay on my right side and when I raise my voice. I had a CT scan done which showed nothing. The dr was very concerned. He stated that he does not like to "fish" because if there is nothing on the scan then there is nothing to worry about, but he can see the knot and feel it (it is 4cm) so he is now "going fishing"....and ordered a MRI that I will be having in 5 days. At this point I am very fearful. Fearful that I won't be taken serious once again. The pain is not unbearable but I can feel the lump when I move my head like it is pulling my skin and tissues. I don't have any cancer symptoms like night sweats or fatigue although I am easily exhausted when even doing small tasks. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone else? Sorry it was so long, but I am trying to be thorough.....thank you....

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Sorry, country, I don't have any comparable experience. You have gone through so much discomfort...for so long. I am wondering if any of the doctors have made comments about ruling out cancer after a plurality of sophisticated tests have not shown conclusive causes of your persistent ailment. Has anyone ever suggested a biopsy? When other tests did not show anything...why is that not a consideration? I see your original inquiry some time ago and you had a doctor appointment since then. Maybe you are now CURED!! ...or help is on the way for a problem that is finally identified!!
Dale

 
Old 06-13-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Dale, thanks for the reply....I am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday June 19th. My ENT said he is 80% sure it is the submandibular gland, but since nothing has showed up on the scans he can't be 100% sure. My pcp suggested that I get yet another opinion since he doesn't trust any of the dr's I have see so far. I can't start all over, though....these tests are not cheap....so I am praying for the best....my ENT doesn't believe in needle biopsies since he says they give false results in his opinion. But once it is removed, it will be sent off....it is tough putting your full trust in a dr who will be cutting open my neck.....know what I mean???

 
Old 06-13-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by countrypumpkins View Post
Dale, thanks for the reply....I am scheduled for surgery on Tuesday June 19th. My ENT said he is 80% sure it is the submandibular gland, but since nothing has showed up on the scans he can't be 100% sure. My pcp suggested that I get yet another opinion since he doesn't trust any of the dr's I have see so far. I can't start all over, though....these tests are not cheap....so I am praying for the best....my ENT doesn't believe in needle biopsies since he says they give false results in his opinion. But once it is removed, it will be sent off....it is tough putting your full trust in a dr who will be cutting open my neck.....know what I mean???
It is nice that you have a pcp in your corner...making sure the doctors comply with all those oaths they took before being challenged by bottom line considerations. You have been pretty cautious in waiting for evidence to show you how to proceed. I bet you get good results and will be paid off for your delaying, but deciding to take this action Tuesday. The doctor recommending this must feel that all those tests suggests if there is any cancer in the lump, it has not spread anywhere. May the doctor take good care of you Tuesday.
Dale

 
Old 06-13-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Thanks Dale, I had skipped a whole nother scenario when the 2nd ENT sent for an MRI and still couldn't see anything significant. He sent me out of town to a head and neck surgeon at a cancer treatment center. The dr was the worst yet. He never gave me a physical examination and just figured I was being paranoid I guess. He told me my neck muscles were probably stressed from looking at the sky too much. Wonder if he thinks I am an astronomer or something? He offered to give me a steroid shot in my neck muscle.....which I refused....I called my ENT back in tears....he wanted to see me a few days later and at first told me I should trust this specialist. I told him the lunatic didn't know what he was talking about, so he gives me a physical exam where he pretty much sticks his finger down my throat along the side of my throat and pushes down while pushing up from the neck up with his other hand. I swear-that really hurts-but he said he now knows what the problem is. He said the gland should be the size of a walnut and mine is the size of a large plum. He has not done any other testing and is not worried about cancer. Of course any lump in the neck makes you think cancer thoughts, so I went back to my pcp and he ran some blood work that would show some cancer in the blood. Everything came out fine. So hopefully if is is malignant, it is confined to that particular area. What scares me most is coming out of my post op fog for them to tell me that it is much worse then they anticipated.....so for now I just keep busy and try not to think about it. I have to leave it in God's hands because I have done all I know to do at this point. Again I thank you for your reply and interest. Things like this tend to make you feel very alone.....

 
Old 06-14-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Hi, We will be sending you positive thoughts on Tuesday. Let us know the good word that you received after finally get rid of this before it becomes a larger problem or decides to relocate. Even though you are going to be able sleep better at night and finally be free of pain, you can still be a big help on this blog. There may be other bloggers who have a troubling lumps--with stethoscopes and wearing white coats) and painful ones on the neck. You will be able to give them some support while they are searching for help. You can let them know that happy days are just around the corner. dale

Last edited by dale2035; 06-14-2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: grammical error

 
Old 06-14-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

You are a great encourager! I will let you know how things go next week!! Thanks so much! God Bless!

 
Old 06-22-2012, 05:05 AM   #8
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

A new post to inquire how your surgery went and what they found. I do hope you are better, and glad you had the lump removed. Sometimes that is the only way to know and get rid of it at same time. Please give some follow up when you are up to it. It sounds like the surgeon was the only one with common sense.

 
Old 06-22-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

Surgery went very well. I haven't had to take any pain meds at all!! Woo Hoo! The dr said the gland looked ok but he removed it anyway since it tends to swell and shrink at any given time. Since I was on drugs to help me relax, it may have relaxed the gland and shrunk it down. From what I understand it will swell when there is a blockage. I asked him if he thinks he fixed the problem and he just said he hopes so, since he looked around and didn't find anything else in there. The gland has been sent off to the lab and the results will be in next week when the stitches come out. So, we don't know anything new. Just hoping for the best. Right now I just feel like I got a wisdom tooth pulled. My bottom lip is weak and it looks like I had a stroke. My tongue is partially numb and it hurts to open my mouth very much or swallow. My neck is still wrapped with gauze and I go today to get it taken off and the dr will check the surgery site. I will keep you updated next week when I find out more.....thanks for caring.....so much.....

 
Old 06-26-2012, 09:06 AM   #10
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Re: Lump in neck for 3 years causing pain

It has been one week today since the surgery. The stitches were removed yesterday and the pathology report said BENIGN....yay....it was chronically inflammed due to blockage. My only problem has been swelling. The incision is about 2-3 inches across my throat and right above it is swelling about the size of an egg. So, although I am not in any pain, I am in extreme discomfort. Dr says swelling is a part of healing and is very common in neck surgeries. The lymph nodes need to reroute and it takes time. So, all should be good in a few weeks or months. Oh, and I have a crooked smile now, kinda like a stroke. Due to the nerve being stretched. It will strengthen over time. All in all, not too bad.....

 
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