Neck Lump

Posted by h3ll0 @h3ll0, Jul 28, 2021

Hello everyone,
I am a 26yo F. On July 8th, 2021, I notice this hard, painless lump on the left side of my neck. I attached a picture of it. It is not mobile at all and has not gone down with daily stretches, ice packs in the mornings, and heat pads in the evenings. I had some pretty bad neck pain in the back of my neck to shoulder blades around the time I discovered the lump but that has since cleared up. The only other thing I've noticed is fatigue.

Went to my primary care doc, she basically shrugged her shoulders and said it could possibly be due to muscle injury (I cannot recall one) but still referred me to ENT. ENT doc basically did the same thing but said to do an ultrasound next month just in case. Bloodwork including CBC and Thyroid panel came back normal. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? I have not been able to find photos of patients with similar neck lumps. Hopefully it's just muscular but wouldn't an injury be painful?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) group.

@h3ll0

We are not Doctors and can’t diagnose but the ENT was the doctor to see. I am glad blood work was ordered and hope you mentioned the fatigue. It’s early days yet but see if you can get that ultrasound scheduled and keep on eye on it for any change in size or new symptoms At first I thought mono because of the fatigue but they would have found that in your blood test. I am assuming , other than the fatigue, you have no other symptoms.

Hope it’s minor and disappears but of course you are concerned. Please let us know the US results and I hope someone here can help. Our wonderful moderators may be able to steer you to some similar discussions here on Mayo. You can always go to another ENT if you are not getting any information and the lump persists.

FL Mary

REPLY

Hello @h3110 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am glad that you posted your question here.

It is a good thing that you were seen by an ENT doctor and that you will be having an Ultrasound as well as having some blood work done. I agree with @imallears that if you are not satisfied with the information you receive or if the lump gets larger or becomes painful, please seek a second opinion. If you get a second opinion it might be wise to go to a head/neck specialist.

Yes, after you get your Ultrasound reports, I would enjoy hearing from you as to the results and how you are feeling. Will you post again?

REPLY

Hi @h3ll0 I wanted to second that welcome to Connect and also share with you a discussion very similar to yours.

This is another discussion that describes a sizable lump on someone's neck that they were concerned about.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lump-in-neck/
I would also like to invite @frankbc, @jano and @gamesjr to the conversation so that they can share their experiences with you.

You might also want to read this article to get a sense of what follow-up questions you can ask your physician.
https://www.totalhealth.co.uk/clinical-experts/mr-francis-vaz/neck-lump-faqs
The lump seems pretty significant for only 21 days. Have you noticed a change in size? Also, can you tell if the lump is in front of your ear on your neck or behind it?

REPLY
@hopeful33250

Hello @h3110 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I am glad that you posted your question here.

It is a good thing that you were seen by an ENT doctor and that you will be having an Ultrasound as well as having some blood work done. I agree with @imallears that if you are not satisfied with the information you receive or if the lump gets larger or becomes painful, please seek a second opinion. If you get a second opinion it might be wise to go to a head/neck specialist.

Yes, after you get your Ultrasound reports, I would enjoy hearing from you as to the results and how you are feeling. Will you post again?

Jump to this post

Thank you! Yes, I can update once I know more.

REPLY
@amandaburnett

Hi @h3ll0 I wanted to second that welcome to Connect and also share with you a discussion very similar to yours.

This is another discussion that describes a sizable lump on someone's neck that they were concerned about.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/lump-in-neck/
I would also like to invite @frankbc, @jano and @gamesjr to the conversation so that they can share their experiences with you.

You might also want to read this article to get a sense of what follow-up questions you can ask your physician.
https://www.totalhealth.co.uk/clinical-experts/mr-francis-vaz/neck-lump-faqs
The lump seems pretty significant for only 21 days. Have you noticed a change in size? Also, can you tell if the lump is in front of your ear on your neck or behind it?

Jump to this post

Thank you! The lump is definitely behind my ear but I can feel some slightly tender swelling all the way to my throat. As far as size, sometimes I do feel like it is slightly larger now but I'm unsure. I do remember that when I had my appointment with ENT, the doctor said she couldn't really grab hold of the lump as it was more like elongated swelling but today I am able to firmly grasp a hard lump between my thumb and two fingers. My ultrasound is on Aug 11th, fingers crossed.

REPLY
@h3ll0

Thank you! The lump is definitely behind my ear but I can feel some slightly tender swelling all the way to my throat. As far as size, sometimes I do feel like it is slightly larger now but I'm unsure. I do remember that when I had my appointment with ENT, the doctor said she couldn't really grab hold of the lump as it was more like elongated swelling but today I am able to firmly grasp a hard lump between my thumb and two fingers. My ultrasound is on Aug 11th, fingers crossed.

Jump to this post

This is the very first picture I took of it on the 8th while the picture on the initial post is from yesterday. The doctor said that if I noticed size increase or pain then we would just do a CT scan right away. Since the Ultrasound is just 2 weeks away I'm leaning towards just waiting for that but I'm not sure…..

REPLY
@h3ll0

Thank you! The lump is definitely behind my ear but I can feel some slightly tender swelling all the way to my throat. As far as size, sometimes I do feel like it is slightly larger now but I'm unsure. I do remember that when I had my appointment with ENT, the doctor said she couldn't really grab hold of the lump as it was more like elongated swelling but today I am able to firmly grasp a hard lump between my thumb and two fingers. My ultrasound is on Aug 11th, fingers crossed.

Jump to this post

@h3ll0-this area you show in the photo is the SCM muscle. This is a muscle that runs from behind the ear, throat to the clavicle. It is involved in all neck and shoulder mobility.

I highly doubt the doctors you met with asked anything about your lifestyle. Meaning, overall what you do for work, excercise, diet and over all stress level.

Neck and shoulder blade pain is stress and tension. Stress, tension and pain lead to fatigue. Just the thoughts alone about what this “lump” could be contributes to more tension stress in those areas.

I would recommend seeing a PT/Massage therapist, one whom specializes in a whole body approach and works with myofascial massage / trigger points. Someone who can give you a better understanding of the musculature system.

You saw two providers that said it was nothing. People who go to a doctor are often expecting to hear something worse or have an “answer”. Be grateful that they both shared the same opinion.

REPLY
@nrd1

@h3ll0-this area you show in the photo is the SCM muscle. This is a muscle that runs from behind the ear, throat to the clavicle. It is involved in all neck and shoulder mobility.

I highly doubt the doctors you met with asked anything about your lifestyle. Meaning, overall what you do for work, excercise, diet and over all stress level.

Neck and shoulder blade pain is stress and tension. Stress, tension and pain lead to fatigue. Just the thoughts alone about what this “lump” could be contributes to more tension stress in those areas.

I would recommend seeing a PT/Massage therapist, one whom specializes in a whole body approach and works with myofascial massage / trigger points. Someone who can give you a better understanding of the musculature system.

You saw two providers that said it was nothing. People who go to a doctor are often expecting to hear something worse or have an “answer”. Be grateful that they both shared the same opinion.

Jump to this post

I don't mean to be rude, but you are pretty much incorrect with all of your assumptions.

Both the ENT doc I saw and a Physical Therapy doc I did a video chat with agreed that the swelling appears to be in the posterior border of my trapezius. I also suspected this when I first saw it as I just graduated Pre-Med and Human Anatomy was one if the last classes I took. My SCM is diagonally in front of the swelling.

My primary care doc knows me by first name, remembers which college I attended, and always asks how my job in small animal Oncology research is going, so she knows me pretty well. She collected a full history on my lifestyle at this time and every doc I've spoken to has repeated that history to me and asked if there's anything I'd like to add.

I never said I was stressed out about the lump or about anything really. I actually decided to post here to make sure I was taking it as seriously as I should since the ENT doc told me we should do a CT if I notice more concerns. Otherwise my life is pretty golden right now, thanks.

I am doing the temperature therapy and gentle stretching I had mentioned at the advice of the Physical Therapist. He did not want to do anything further until we get the ultrasound results. I asked about massage at the time, he told me that any responsible massage therapist wouldn't touch me until after I get the results. He felt that since I am completely pain free and am not hindered physically, we could hold off for now.

None of my doctors have said that is was "nothing". THAT was what I wanted to hear from them. All of them have said they are unsure exactly what it is but they are not particularly worried. They have all agreed that it needed to be investigated further, especially since it did not go down in size, which lead to my referrals and ultrasound. I dont think an ENT doctor would tell me to be on alert for more symptoms and offer a CT if she thought I was just being dramatic.

I am grateful for tools like this discussion where I can connect with empathetic people who may be going through the same thing as me.

REPLY
@h3ll0

This is the very first picture I took of it on the 8th while the picture on the initial post is from yesterday. The doctor said that if I noticed size increase or pain then we would just do a CT scan right away. Since the Ultrasound is just 2 weeks away I'm leaning towards just waiting for that but I'm not sure…..

Jump to this post

@h3ll0

Wait for the US and hopefully the Doctor will see you right after as happened with an US of my bladder. I also had a great tech who explained everything along the way. They will be looking at arteries and for any nodules or abnormal masses. With the bladder I was able to see the whole screen during the process so I think you should be able to see it too but may depend on the position you are on.

Good luck and be happy that tests were done and more tests are upcoming. They will find an answer. Don’t forget to mention your perception of it getting bigger and your fatigue.

FL Mary

REPLY
@h3ll0

I don't mean to be rude, but you are pretty much incorrect with all of your assumptions.

Both the ENT doc I saw and a Physical Therapy doc I did a video chat with agreed that the swelling appears to be in the posterior border of my trapezius. I also suspected this when I first saw it as I just graduated Pre-Med and Human Anatomy was one if the last classes I took. My SCM is diagonally in front of the swelling.

My primary care doc knows me by first name, remembers which college I attended, and always asks how my job in small animal Oncology research is going, so she knows me pretty well. She collected a full history on my lifestyle at this time and every doc I've spoken to has repeated that history to me and asked if there's anything I'd like to add.

I never said I was stressed out about the lump or about anything really. I actually decided to post here to make sure I was taking it as seriously as I should since the ENT doc told me we should do a CT if I notice more concerns. Otherwise my life is pretty golden right now, thanks.

I am doing the temperature therapy and gentle stretching I had mentioned at the advice of the Physical Therapist. He did not want to do anything further until we get the ultrasound results. I asked about massage at the time, he told me that any responsible massage therapist wouldn't touch me until after I get the results. He felt that since I am completely pain free and am not hindered physically, we could hold off for now.

None of my doctors have said that is was "nothing". THAT was what I wanted to hear from them. All of them have said they are unsure exactly what it is but they are not particularly worried. They have all agreed that it needed to be investigated further, especially since it did not go down in size, which lead to my referrals and ultrasound. I dont think an ENT doctor would tell me to be on alert for more symptoms and offer a CT if she thought I was just being dramatic.

I am grateful for tools like this discussion where I can connect with empathetic people who may be going through the same thing as me.

Jump to this post

@h3ll0-Good luck to you in your healing journey ☺️

REPLY

I had a similar lump on my neck. Mine was a swollen lymph node and it was moveable so you could kind of tell that it was a node or nodule. My Primary gave antibiotics and after it did not go away completely he ordered a CT scan which revealed probable cancer which a biopsy confirmed. My blood work was perfect all the way up till chemo and radiation. I had tonsil cancer that spread to that swollen lymph node. A physical exam with eye and scope revealed nothing unusual. Only the CT scan and biopsy revealed the cancer. I am not saying that is what you have and I feel like the doctor would have spoken about your lymph nodes if they thought it was a lymph node. But you may ask just for your own peace of mind. Don't lay in bed thinking of the worst though as your swelling really don't look like mine. Good luck to you.

REPLY

Update:
Hello everyone,
My ultrasound did not reveal the cause of my lump or anything out of the ordinary, which was a relief. However, during my recheck with ENT the day after the ultrasound, the doctor noted that it had in fact gotten larger. Then, 2 days later, I came down with painful lymph nodes from my chin to my under arm on the same side as the lump with no discernible cause or infection (Covid test was also negative). They have not responded to antibiotics yet though it is still the first week of taking it. So, to sum it all up, an MRI has now been ordered and I'm right back to where I started. I personally think the lymph nodes are just a crazy coincidence and my doctor reassured me that the MRI would have been done regardless since the lump grew bigger.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment