new mass found anterior to thyroid lateral to clavicle

hello everyone i am new to the csn website. last tuesday i went to the dr b/c i have been having ear pain for 3 months. I did have pneumonia in september, followed by ear infection in october sinus infection in november. i figured that i just had another ear infection or either the first ear infection had not cleared up. i have had swollen lymph nodes in my entire neck since october however i chalked it up to the ear infection. Finally on tues i call my gp for an appt. they ran a cbc and sed rate which both came back normal. gp was baffled as to why lymph nodes would be inflamed but have a normal cbc. now i have also been experiencing extreme fatigue as well as slight difficulty swallowing which is more noticeable if im dehydrated. anywho, i had ultrasound of soft tissue of neck as well as contrast ct which both showed a soft tissue mass which is lateral to my clavicle, anterior to my thyroid and pressing against trachea and carotid artery. the radiologist did seem concerned and recommended biopsy or complete removal of the mass. he was unable to characterize the mass but did say it did not look aggressive and that it is not invading any of the adjacent structures. now that ive brought everyone up to speed, i am just now freaking out! i work for a radiologist and i see this all the time most of the time its not cancer but there is always the few that are. im terrified not of the treatment, not of death but more the fear of the unknown. i do have an appt with a surgeon next week to discuss options. me personally if it doesn't belong there remove it completely. my gp recommended a biopsy either fna or needle core, my thought on that, if i have the bx and it is cancer i then will have to have it removed, then if its benign and i don't have it removed and it grows there is potential for it to invade my trachea or esophagus which ulitmately ends in surgery. i would like some guidance here from those who have experienced similar situations or from anyone with any insight! sorry for the long note!!



  • Hal61
    Hal61 Member Posts: 655
    Emotional Slam Dance
    Hi Gagirl, sorry to hear of your problem, and I hope you won't need to visit here long.
    Your fear of the unknown should soon be calmed.

    It sounds like a needle biopsy is a smart first step. From what you say, you suspect it should be surgically removed either way, if you had your way. Sounds like a fine needle biospy will tell you if it is benign, in which case your doctor may well proceed with removal. If, on the outside chance, it is cancerous, then chemo and/or rads might be the way, in which case your tumor should be reduced in size and not become invasive to trachea or espophagus.

    I'm glad you found the mass, and can now get it fixed. Try to do the impossible, and not worry too much about it until next week. Keep us posted.

    best, Hal
  • longtermsurvivor
    longtermsurvivor Member Posts: 1,842 Member
    agree with Hal
    The trick here is to preserve your options. If you have this mass surgically removed, and it is cancer, then without the rest of your workup done, the surgery may prove to be inadequate. This could forcce you to have a second surgery. As hard as it is, I'd get the needle bx first to see what you're dealing with.

    Wishing you the best.

  • jim and i
    jim and i Member Posts: 1,788 Member
    Fine needle biopsy seems to be the smart move. If it is cancer the rads will shrink it quickly. My husband had the ear pain which got to the point of unbearable before diagnosed with tongue cancer. His cancer was inoperable but the tumor shrunk within the first week of Rads and he needed no pain meds after that. Your insurance will insist on a biopsy anyway so go ahead and have it now.

    Praying it is beniegn and for your peace waiting for results.