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Lumps on jaw and behind ear

Tasha-vaf
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi all. I have a hard painless lump that moves on my jawline, has been there at least 7-8 years. I also have a hard painless lump behind my ear which does not move and has been there maybe 2 years. I thought nothing of them until the last few months when I have been having night sweats. I also get very itchy at night, especially my legs but I put that down to shaving them! I am always tired but I have 3 children! I have seen my doctor and he has prescribed me antibiotics and ordered me to come back when they're finished. I'm not too worried as these lumps have been there for years and don't seem to be getting bigger. Could these lumps just be dodgy lymph nodes that have stayed swollen just because? I only ask as my doctor never seems too bothered and dismisses you with antibiotics all the time so I'm wondering whether to persist if he says it's just a swollen node? Thanks all, Natasha. 

Anonymous user (not verified)

with your symptoms I would suggest seeing an oncologist as a second opinion. Sooner not later.

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

I agree with GKH, get it checked out.  Hopefully it's nothing. 

 

Tasha-vaf
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2014

Thank you both, I'll see what gp says when I go back. If he says it's nothing to worry about then I'll insist on getting them checked. Do I ask for a biopsy on them? 

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 2111
Joined: Aug 2011

If you are referred to an oncologist, they will probably want a biopsy.  They will probably want more tests as well.  I hope you find some answers.

Hugs

Tasha-vaf
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2014

Thank you. I recently had blood tests done after going to the doctor with back pain and fatigue. It only showed that I was low on folic acid. Would something else have shown up if I did have something sinister? I hope so too, would just like to put my mind at ease. I have worries with my cervix too after abnormal smear tests as well as osteoarthritis of my thoracic spine so got a bit going on! 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3518
Joined: May 2012

Tasha,

Blood tests for lymphoma vary in usefulness from life-saving to worthless, but they are the cheapest means of determining whether you need further tests or not. The value of the tests is based upon which tests your doctor ran.  At a minimum you would need a CBC, but adding a metabolic profile is valuable as well.  The fiirst things an oncologist looks at are when checking for lymphoma are WBC, RBC, and normal platelets levels.  Sedimentation Rate and creatinine and albumin are also very indicitive.  LDH (NOT "LDL") was the most accurate indicator of my disease of any of the tests my oncologist ran.  I have no medical training, but I know it absolutely tracked with the size of my tumors, based upon CTs and PET scans.  ALWAYS get a paper copy of your lab results from your doctor.

Lymphoma is not one disease, but over 30 differing diseases.  Some people get labs back that are perfect, yet have advanced lymphoma, while others get out-of-wack results and have no cancer.  But labs are the usual starting point.

You mentioned fatigue, night sweats, and itching. All three are classic symptoms of lymophoma, but can be caused by other conditions as well, especially hormonal imbalances. They are common symptoms in menopause, for instance.  I agree with the other guys that further face-time with doctors is suggested. 

If your family doc does not agree to move forward in resolving your issues, go see another doctor.  I cannot count the number of writers here who went forever on antibiotics, because their doc (usually an ENT) did not want to believe that the issue was more serious than an infection.

I wish you negative results (meaning no cancer), and  you need to know that lymphoma is almost always very treatable, and most strains are even "curable."  Be calm, and move forward in a systematic manner.  No one is in charge of your medical care but you.

max

Tasha-vaf
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2014

Hi max. Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure exactly what tests were done, didn't even look at the form. I'll keep track of them in future. I did think I may have a hormone problem as I also lost a patch of hair recently for no reason, just discovered a bald patch the size of a large coin. Thyroid was included in my blood test though and that was normal. I'm only 31 so don't think it could be the menopause just yet. 

im staying quite calm, not panicking as I'm sure it's nothing but cancer isn't as rare to me as it once was, so many people I know are being diagnosed. So I guess I'm quietly worried. Off to get my antibiotics today so I will take those and then go back and see what my gp says. I worry that he thinks I'm a bit of a hypochondriac as I have been seeing him for problems with my back and with my cervix quite a bit lately. I had cin3 2 years ago and am having symptoms of that again and find that I'm constantly trying to get somewhere to find out why.

thank you for your advice and well wishes.

 

edwin434
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2015

I'm having similiar symptoms, I'm just wondering what your outcome was? I have a lump on sumbandibular gland about 1cm, a 2cm lymph node above the gland, another posterior cervical 2cm lymph node, 1cm occipital lymph node, then yesterday I noticed 2 pea sized posterior auricular lymph nodes.  Everything started about 2 years ago and more lymph nodes seem to slowly becoming noticeable to feel. I've had a needle biopsy, 2 ct scans a year apart, ultlrasound, scoped twice, and seen 4 different ENT's "last one was about 6 months ago". None of them seem too concerned but cannot give clear reason why lymph nodes on only my right side of neck are swelling up. Doctores have mentioned nasal cancer and lymphoma possibilities but say I'd have more symptoms by now so I'm kinda left at a dead end. I feel like submandibular cancer is another possibility since that was the orignal lump but doctors say symptoms would be different and saliva would not be clear. If the two pea sized lumps do not go away within a month I'll probably make an appointment with a oncologist. I'm happy to hear any other else's advice or opinion also. Thanks.

thankingGod
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2015

Tasha,

I was diagnosed one year ago with stage 4 SLL.  I had a few lumps that I didn't pay much attention to, but ultimately, I went to the doctor after getting winded climbing a few flights of stairs.  I wanted to determine if I had heart issues or if I just needed to go to a gym to get back in shape.  After seeing the lumps on my neck, the doctor dug around in my armpits and ultimately ordered a CT scan which showed mutliple enlarged Lymph glands, so he prescribed an extraction and biopsy which led to my SLL diagnosis.  My "treatment" program is "wait and watch" meaning that they won't do anything to me until I display "B" symptoms (night sweats, rapid weight loss).  I have been going to the gym and feel better than I have in 20 years (I am 55).  I don't know what the future holds, but I am learning to live in the present and am experiencing deeper relationships with family and friends.

Given your symptoms, if you do have a Lymphoma, it is very likely SLL because other forms of Lymphoma are more aggressive. SLL is very slow-growing.  I strongly suggest that you see another doctor.  At a minimum, that doctor should tell you in clear language how he knows that you do or don't have this condition.  Some doctors don't care enough to do this.  Others do.  If you see another doctor and he/she doesn't make you feel comfortable with whatever the diagnosis is, see a third one . . . or a fourth one . . . or a fifth one!  You deserve to know what caused your lumps and the reason why a doctor would not want to investigate further.  I have been to 3 oncologists.  Of the 3, only 1 was open and forthright and sat down and explained my diagnosis and options.  One got mad at me for asking questions.

The whole hypochondriac thing is rather difficult.  If you know you have issues and a doctor tells you not to worry about it, it is his/ her duty to tell you what he knows and doesn't know so you can be comfortable with the diagnosis.  If he/ she doesn't give you that explanation, the last thing you should concern yourself over is whether he/ she "thinks" that you are a hypochodriac.  He/ she should be more concerned over whether you "think" he/ she is a competent doctor.

 

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