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marble-sized "lump" on head behind ear
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Anon_228747 posted:
about a week and a half ago i notice a swelling behind my left ear (on my head...not my actual ear). it was hard to the touch and about marble-sized. there was some pain associated with it...but it was localized to the area and wasn't debilitating. the swelling subsided but came back about three or four days later. it lasted several hours and was gone to the point of me not noticing it. then today i feel a mild swelling again.

i have done some reading and it sounds like i could be dealing with a swollen lymph node. i haven't noticed myself being ill. i do not suffer from allergies either. any insight?

does it sound like a swollen lymph node?

if so, should i be concerned? could it be cancer or somesort?

if not a swollen lymph node, what else could it be?

another piece of info. i recently had a baby via caesarean two months ago. i healed nicely and had no complications. (in other words, i don't think i picked up any sort of bacteria or virus from the surgery).

also, for the last few years i have experienced pain/sensitivity behind my ears (on head)...but never a lump before. i always just shrugged it off to head ache tension. but perhaps the pain is related to the now presenting lumps/swelling?

if your advice is "see a doctor", who should i see? i am pretty confident a GP will not provide me with any additional infomation than i have read on the subject. should i go right to a neurologist or ear, nose & throat doctor?

Thanks!
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
I trust (most) primary care medical providers....at least for the initial assessment. Yes, the most likely culprit is a post-auricular (means "behind the ear") lymph node, but without a hands-on examination and knowing your complete medical history, there is no way for me to blindly make that call. If it is a reactive lymph node, it would be important to determine WHY it is reactive. A reason needs to be investigated.

Some lumps could be a spasm of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, say from holding a baby in one arm and working with the other????

Could it be cancer? Yes, I guess it could be, and of course, you are definitely worried about that or you wouldn't have asked. Again, that is something that will require a thorough evaluation. If the primary care feels this lump is worrisome or suspicious, or if you want to skip the middle man and go directly to an ENT, this would be your call.

You are concerned, so get it checked out. An ENT is fine, but I seen nothing wrong with seeing the primary first. A neurologist is not who you should see at this point.

Please let me know what happens...
 
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Anon_228747 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you, Dr. Moser, I will let you know what transpires... I have decided to wait and see for the time being. if the swelling continues, i will make an appointment with a doctor, either a GP or an ENT.

again...thank you for your speedy response.
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Anon_228747's response:
You are welcome.....


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