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Child has swollen lymph node on neck, not painful. Doctors say it will go away. Can you help me?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
I have a 7 y/o niece who for about a month now has had a large had, swollen "knot" on the back of her neck - doctors says swollen lymph node - this started out as a soft, uncolored mass - it has grown in size, over an inch in diameter, hard, does not move, no painful and is not completely black - her doctor says to not worry about it, it'll go away - it's right over the brain stem - I find this unusual to say it'll just go away, so can you help me with anything. Thank you. Linda XXXXXXX
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
The description of the swelling does seem close to being a lymph node and I assume that if the doctor has examined it thoroughly he is not likely to be mistaken.
Lymph node swellings are signs of infection or inflammation or malignancy in the area they drain.
The posterior neck lymph nodes wil be swollen in infections of scalp or neck or throat or ear and mastoid sinuses.They usually are small and painful to start with and may grow in size or resolve gradually in weeks to a month or so after treatment.
If your neice has received any treatment in the past month yet has no decrease in the size, then it is worrisome and warrants a thorough investigation work up to rule out the cause like getting fine needle aspiration or biopsy of the swelling and a complete blood count.
If she hasn't received any treatment and has any history of fever and possible ear throat neck or scalp infection then she needs to be thoroughly examined and investigated by a pediatrician to confirm the cause and start appropriate treatment.In that case there are chances that the swelling wil go away after few weeks of completing the treatment.
I understand your concern since it has been there for a long time and I agree that you should
investigate it further to rule out chronic infection or inflammation .malignancy may be a rare possibility and doesn't seem likely in her case yet an aspiration or biopsy would give the diagnosis.
So I advise you discuss it with her pediatrician to be on the safer side
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries
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