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Enlarging painful lumps behind ears, upper neck. Why do they keep coming back?

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There are enlarging very painful lumps behind my ears, upper neck and sides of my head near my ears. They diminish after a few days and new ones develop. What could this be?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The multiple enlarged painful lumps in your neck could be enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
Lymph nodes are part of the of the immune system helps in fighting against infections. They are like police man of our body, it pops out whenever there is ongoing infection in the vicinity and become inflamed or enlarged. The conditions may range from trivial infections such as a throat infection, to life-threatening such as cancers.
For this, a FNAB (fine needle aspiration biopsy) of the lymph nodes and swollen glands is the best test. FNAB is aspiration of the material of the glands which is done by a fine gauge needle (22 or 25 gauge) and a syringe. This will confirm the diagnosis as swollen neck glands are often caused by an infection, allergic reactions, cancer or metabolic diseases.
So please consult your doctor as physical examination of the lymph nodes and lab investigation are must to confirm and rule out persisting infection and other causes.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
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