I was wondering if I could get some input from the people on this board regarding a lymph node undr my jaw. I am a 25 yr old male.
Here is my story:
Approximately two years ago, I noticed a marble-sized rubbery lump under my right jaw. You cannot feel the lump unless I tilt my head downward and then the lump will move to the other side of my jaw (the cheek side). The lump moves very easily. I noticed the lump because my jaw was sore after extensive dental work. I have terrible teeth (continuing premature decay) and I just assumed that it was swelling related to teh chronic infections in my mouth.
I stopped touching the lump because it justgrossed me out and I basically forgot about it. Then, about a month ago, for whatever reason, I started moving it around a lot and began to panic. I was traveling at the time, so I described it to my doctor over the phone. She said that nothing that stays the same size for two years and moves around so easily is cancerous. She told me not to come in. Being a hypochondriac (actually have been diagnosed as such), I made an appointment anyway. The doctor could not feel the lump at first but once she felt it, she said she was still not worried. She again repeated that it was probably a calcification or lipoma, but, whatever it was, nothing that moves so much and stays the same size for two ears is cancer. I asked her if I could have tests done to ease my mind and she said no because she was "100 percent confident it is nothing".
Despite my GP's reassurances, I went to a world reknowned ENT doctor who specializes in cancer for a second opinion. One I moved the lump to the cheek side of my jaw, he felt it and said it felt like a lymph node to him. He said that it was probably a reactive lymph node (most likely enlagred because of my teeth) and that he would just do an ultrasound and FNA to rule all the bad things out. I had the ultrasound and the doc said the only thing they found was a 2.1 cm lymph node. He said everything else was normal. He repeated that it is probably a reactive lymph node, but that it is worth it to do a FNA to rule out other causes. The idea of a biopsy scares me so much, that I called him back and asked him he is worried. He said that he was not worried, but only doing due dilligence. He said that given my age (25), the size of the node, the duration of the node, and the mobility of the node, there is only a small chance that it is cancer. He kept repeating that his job is to rule out bad things and that he is only doing due dilligence. He said if he thought the node was the result of cancer, he would tell me.
Despite these reassurances, I am still very upset. I keep sobbing at the thought of having cancer. My hypochondria has also been 100 times worse and I keep linking every "seymptom" I have to the potentially cancerous lymph node in my neck (the neck and cheek spasms I have had for years, the sore throat that I have in the mornings that the docs say is from post nasal drip). If anyone can provide me with reassuring info, I would greatly appreciateit.
Last edited by Herewego71600; 09-28-2007 at 08:06 AM.
So, are you planning on getting a biopsy?
From my experience, and what I've read on this board, it's really the only way to relieve your mind.
It sounds like you're in good hands, especially since your ENT is "world-renouned."
I have a tendency to worry too much, too....
So, you're certainly not alone.
I think your doctor is right. He's doing a great job; but if the FNA comes back negative you could still push for a surgical biopsy if you still don't feel convinced. I have had enlarged lymph nodes for almost 4 years now and am finally going to have a lymph node biopsy done. My first one that i noticed was on the back of my neck back when I was 20. But each year it did get bigger; then I got more; and I have other symptoms. And the lymph nodes are immobile and hard. THey did start off squishy and moved around though. SO you never know. But because you don't have any symtpoms and you only have one enlarged lymph node I think you're going to be fine. Even if turns out to be cancerous, you'll have caught it early. I don't feel so confident about my situation, but I've already accepted the fact that I most likely have cancer.
So, I had the FNA done yesterday. There was a pathologist in the room who took a look at the slide and said that everything looks normal at first glance. The doctor took a look under the microscope and said the same thing. I get the official results tomorrow....I pray that nothing changes and that this is finally over.
Last edited by Herewego71600; 10-02-2007 at 11:27 AM.
The pathology results came back and state that there are no cancer cells and that the lymph node is characteristic of a reactive lymph node! (most likely caused by my chronic teeth problems) Thank God! So, time to move on...finally.
My lymph node is still a bit swollen and sore from my FNA three days ago (my doc moved the needle back an forth a lot to get different types of cells), but it is getting progressively better.