Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
Could use some peace of mind while waiting to see an ENT. Lump in collar bone area.
avatar
Horacio posted:
Hi everyone; like a lot of people I've gotten sick of googling my symptoms only to have the word 'CANCER' thrown at me every which way. I'm currently in the process of waiting for a referral to make its way to my local ENT from my PCP, so I have a lot of time on my hands to think. To start off, I'm 28 years old and male.

On Thanksgiving day, I started to feel a slight discomfort in my lower left jaw. Nothing incredibly off-putting, but over the following week it became more painful. By 12/5, the pain started to recede but gave way to an odd, swollen feeling in my neck. This worried me enough to see the doctor, which I did on the following day. My doctor had me do the usual assortment of blood work.

On the Saturday after then, 12/8 to be exact, the pain in my jaw returned and while feeling at my neck I noticed a hard, bony lump right above my left collar bone. It's right at the base of my neck and a bit deep inside and I'd say its maybe about the size of a marble. Very, very occasionally I'll feel a little pain radiate from it, but otherwise it is not tender at all, but it is very solid, and unmovable.

My bloodwork came back on 12/10 which gave me a clean bill of health - not one problem was spotted, outside of a slightly elevated uric acid count.

Not much has happened since then - I'm taking 600mg of ibuprofen for the occasional recurring bout of jaw pain(again, there is no tenderness here either and I can move my neck normally) but what worries me most now is this lump just sitting in my neck.

The flesh/tissue right around this lump is currently very swollen, like a soft fatty lump - could this be because I'm CONSTANTLY touching/feeling/fiddling with the area, checking on the bump? I am also currently weathering what feels like a 24 hour cold, so could that explain it?

Besides that, everything is normal. I am not lethargic, no real trouble breathing/swallowing. No random fevers. The only notable thing about me otherwise is that I'm a fair amount overweight; but besides this occasional pain and stiffness in my neck, I feel absolutely normal.

I've had my main doctor, two friends, a friend's mother, and an ER doctor all touch and feel at my neck, and did not seem especially worried.

Still, this is wearing on my mind(I had a panic attack on 12/15 over it) and even though physically I feel normally, emotionally and mentally it is tearing me up. My family has histories of cancer, but the three that I know of all did not develop this at all until their late 40's and above.
Reply
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
You have had two doctors examine this lump, knowing your fear that it is cancer, and both were not worried. You are still worried anyway, so you will most likely need to wait until you see the specialist to have that third opinion. Obviously, since I do not know anything about you (other than your age), your medical history, habits, and more importantly; have any way of examining this worrisome lump first-hand, I really can't offer you the reassurance you may be seeking. Sometimes, the ONLYway to be sure of these lumps (supraclavicular ymph node?) is to actually biopsy it. The ENT will be able to make that determination once you are examined. Suspicious nodes tend to be rock-hard and fixed (not moveable), but again, the ENT will make that very important call.

Until that exam, there is really nothing you can gain by search the Internet for an answer. What you desperately need is a "patient-specific" answer, and that can only come from the medical provider who examines you.
 
avatar
Horacio replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you for the reply. I think over the last few days I've slowly realized what you said at the end - worrying until I have the information that satisfies me. I've felt better about it over the last few days as well, and ironically, the best I've felt emotionally over the last few weeks has been having this cold I'm currently suffering through.

I guess what worries me now is that the waiting is going to have an impact on any possible diagnosis, but a week or two isn't going to kill me, huh?
 
avatar
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Horacio's response:
Sometimes, even after you see the specialist, you may not have the definitive answer you are seeking. The specialist may order a few diagnostic tests or a scan, so the waiting game may occur again. An accurate diagnosis can take important steps, and each step can take time.
 
avatar
Horacio replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Thank you again for the reply Dr.

I guess I just like having some sort of feedback, calm, gentle feedback even if its 'you have to wait'. At least I have things rolling to find out what I need to, which is better than what it sounds like a lot of people suffering can manage.

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac and rarely get sick, so this has all thrown me for a bit of a loop.


Helpful Tips

Your Home Black BagExpert
Doctors used to carry black bags containing all the medical tools they would need for a home visit. Of course, that rarely happens anymore. ... More
Was this Helpful?
31 of 53 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.