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    Old 02-15-2005, 08:58 AM   #1
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    crazy4veggies HB User
    lumps on left side of neck

    I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, but I have three hard lumps going from the bottom of my scalp down the left side of my neck. A few weeks ago, for no reason whatsoever, my neck was in terrible pain and had severe stiffness for about five days. This occurred suddenly and I still don't know what caused that. Anyway, the other day, I noticed the bumps on my neck, the same side of the pain weeks eariler. My ears have also been hurting more than usually, I have ear problems anyway, but this has been different than just the ringing, it's been fairly sharp and painful. I'm not sure if this is lymph node swelling, a cyst, muscle strain or something else. I'm probably gonna go the doctor because it's freaking me out, but any info anyone has on here would be appreciated thanks so much

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    Old 02-17-2005, 10:29 AM   #2
    Join Date: Feb 2005
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    Re: lumps on left side of neck

    All of your guesses -- lymph nodes, cyst, etc. -- are possible. There is no way to know without an actual exam. A doc will be able to tell you instantly by palpating the lumps.

    To put your mind at ease, here's what you need to know:

    Three cysts at once, appearing suddenly, is highly unlikely. Most likely these are enlarged lymph nodes. If they are, in fact, cysts, the good news is that most cysts are of little or no concern. They can be quickly and easily removed from most areas of the body if they are close to the surface. Removal is not always required -- sometimes it is just a personal choice. I had a cyst on my neck in a similar location about eight years ago. I had it removed in the doc's office. The procedure took about ten minutes, was painless, required a few stitches and I was out of there. Pathology revealed nothing abnormal.

    But in your case -- three at once -- cysts do seem unlikely. You mention having had ear problems. Would infections be a correct assumption? If the answer is yes, swollen nodes would be very common to find near an area where there has been a recent or ongoing infection.

    And guess what? I also have a few enlarged nodes in my neck -- they've been there for over fifteen years. At the time when they first appeared, I had just gotten over a virulent flu which I caught from my Dad. I also have a mild scalp condition called folliculitis which involves a few infected hair follicles from time to time. Many years of lymph fluid working to drain infection around my scalp, coupled with a severe flu, caused these nodes to swell up.

    At the time this happened, I started researching swollen nodes online. This was a huge mistake. There are dire warnings about lymphoma, AIDS and all sorts of other terrifying illnesses. Very little at the time was mentioned regarding the fact that sometimes lymph nodes simply swell up from an active infection and are utterly and completely HARMLESS. Today, however, that information is more readily available, so I felt I should share it with you.

    That being said -- it is STILL vital that you have these checked out! You MUST rule out the possibility that there is something else causing these. Once that is accomplished you can then rest easy and just ignore them!

    If lymph nodes become very solid in feel and texture or no longer move around a little bit when you palpate them -- this requires immediate attention. Likewise, if lymph nodes continue to get bigger and bigger -- see a doc right away.

    During the course of my little scare with enlarged nodes, I met a nurse who giggled and told me not to worry -- she also had enlarged nodes in her neck which had been present for over ten years. She said: "Sometimes they just never go away, it happens."

    More often, however, swollen nodes DO go away and shrink back to more or less undetectable size when the source of the infection has been treated. But it is not impossible by any means for nodes to remain enlarged and stay that way.

    Enlarged nodes are not something a doc will ever remove completely for cosmetic reasons or simply at the request of a patient. Nodes are left in place.

    So go see your doc and walk into the office knowing that almost certainly this is nothing to worry about. He may or may not want to do a needle aspiration biopsy -- but I'm guessing probably not. You can request it if it will put your mind at ease. Most likely the doc will tell you to just keep an eye on them and see if they return to normal size in a few weeks or possibly a month or two. If your nodes never get any smaller, don't worry. Just check them now and then and make sure they do not get any bigger or change in any way. Mine have remained exactly the same forever -- yet I do still have an active infection. This infection is controlled and causes me no problems, but the nodes are still enlarged.

    Do have this checked out ASAP, but do NOT panic. Sounds to me like these are simply enlarged nodes as a result of repeated or active infection in your ear. Any lump we discover on our bodies is cause for concern -- but never cause for panic.

    Finally, lipomas are another possibility, but also unlikely, so I don't think it is necessary to detail these right now. I will tell you that lipomas are benign fatty deposits which often form seemingly out of the blue. They are harmless and can be left alone or removed if they bother the patient.

    Best wishes to you. Let us all know how this turns out!

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