Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
188 Doctors are Online

Noticed movable lump on neck area. Should I be worried for lymphoma?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 557 Questions
I have a very confusing question and I will try and see if I can ask it in the most simplest of terms. About a month and a half ago while putting on moisturizer my neck, my fingers crazed on what seemed to be a small "lump" just underneath my jaw. I thought it was odd and proceeded (of course everyone does it!) prod around there. I realized it was this very small, firm, not so very mobile lump. I looked it up and found out that you do have a lymph node there. After some anxiety over it, I realized that I never poke and prod anywhere because of THIS, we find something we don't understand it and just have a melt down over it. I did however a week before then had my sinus act up on me. I have been told by doctors that I have "year round" allergies which I never had allergies til I moved to XXXXXXX So, like I said a week before then I already had sinus problems, pressure around the nose/face which I alleviated by using a Saline Nose Spray, so I thought that could be that? Who knows. A couple of days later while changing my underwear, again my fingers graze on my groin area, right side, (I guess bikini line) and felt a slight lump there. It was not a "bump" from shaving, although, yes I have been shaving and I am aware that irritation can cause the lymph nodes there to get active. The lump didn't hurt and was not large at all. I then checked the other side and found that yes, I also have one there. I made an appointment with doctor. I explained to her what I found and of course I was asked "Why did you even poke there?", I didn't it was an accident, nevertheless, it's there. She examined the small "lump" underneath my chin and says, "Well, we have lymph nodes everywhere". Didn't seem concerned and moved on to my groin area. She proceeded to examine me there and made a comment of "Oh, you have a couple there XXXXXXX When I was checking I didn't really feel a couple! Maybe because I was trying to see that both my right side and left side of groin have bilateral lumps in the same spot and never really cared to explore much. She told me to get dressed and these are "benign" ones, nothing to be worried about, not cancer, as she puts it. Two weeks later I was taking a shower and decided to "check" my lymph nodes on my groin, especially on the left side where she did feel something and at first I thought it grew! But, after the panic past I decided that I expected it to be very noticeably smaller and that expectation had made the lymph node which was most likely the same size if not smaller just bigger on my first impression. The lump under my chin when I examined it seemed quite smaller!! So, I was fine with all of this as it seems to be heading in the right direction. Until last night when I decided to do a monthly breast exam. I've always been able to pick up tiny lumps and bumps before, even had a lump taken out (on my left breast) which was very small I was told, so small that they would always need my help in locating it because they said it was like "finding needle in a haystack". Which by the way it was indeed benign but, was also told that there was a lymph node beside it (no idea if they took it out or what but, they did biopsy the mass). So, I had finished examining my armpits and both my breasts (was all fine and dandy, just the usual fibrocystic lumps I've known) when I yet again grazed on my right armpit and felt a slight bump. I thought it was just razor irritations etc, seemed very superficial bump but, of course that got me to checking it further as I do not want to just assume anything and move on. When I checked this bump/lump I noticed that on very light touches I can feel other ones on both sides and I knew it was the normal lumps and bumps as I am very much aware that we aren't all "smooth", I am also skinny. I would like to add that when I do my breast exam I do it laying down propped by pillow with my hand behind my head. I sat up from this position and while checking that bump was HORRIBLY surprised that I felt what feels like a fibrocystic lump (yes, I do suffer from fibrocystic breasts) I would feel on my breast, although it is in my armpit! It is extremely mobile, I am horrible judge of size as I am confused what is 1 cm in relative to anything! It is not big by any means and it feel like it is oblong? Initially it didn't hurt at all but, of course now it is tender thanks to my prodding it. I then moved to my left side armpit and see if something is present there. And yes, there is also something there in not so perfect identical location but, close enough. Out of all the lumps I am scared to death of the ones in the armpits as a woman as that is near the breast and breast cancer is just all too real. Thing is if I lay down and examine it, it seems to literally move in location when I have my hands to the back of my neck, in fact, I didn't feel it when I did my normal exam. It wasn't til I sat up that the muscles there relaxed I guess? And the lump (lymph node?) shifted to that position where it was palpable to me. So, I guess the question is this. With everything else the internet has to say, thanks Google, I am now confused and I can't seem to get an idea and nobody wants to clarify. If breast cancer is suspected, would it have anything to do with my other lymph nodes, that is to say, if a cancer metastasizes would the lymph nodes in other regions swell rapidly and in turn be painful? Or would it be like lymphoma (well from what I understand at least) that it (meaning the lymph nodes in other areas/regions) will be a gradual grow that it most likely NOT be painful? I don't understand really, realistically speaking here what am I looking at? If I have these lymph nodes that are palpable to me but, maybe 1 cm or less in these regions, some of which are giving me the impression that it is getting smaller, they do not hurt and all but that one tiny node underneath my chin are extremely mobile and none of them are "rock hard".. what am I looking at? Especially that now I have this addition on my armpits? With the little knowledge that you can gather from my post, is this coincidence finding? Such as, well you never poke and prod in these areas before so finding something now and coincidentally having shaved on my bikini and armpit (even though I have not been shaving lately and have small growths of hair back) made you find something that just seemed to pile up/add up? I will be making a doctors appointment for the lump/lymph node on my armpits but, I always get derailed when trying to ask my question really. And really, I don't like being looked at as someone who has grown a third head on my shoulders when I say, what I'm scared of is I'm confused if this could be a sign of "lymphoma" or does this more than likely eliminate the likelihood of lymphoma and more leaning towards fatty nodules, possible just irritation from shaving under the armpits but, of course will take a look at the breast health. Please help.
Posted Tue, 5 Mar 2013 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Ganesh Sanap 2 hours later
Hi, welcome and thanks for writing in.
I think your doctor is correct in manner of diagnosis of lymphnodes. Because any malignancy will have other symptoms before appearance of lymphnodes.
Firstly let's see about neck region. If there is any cancer in neck region it will present as large swelling or difficulty in swallowing. For final confirmation ultrasonography of neck region is investigation of choice.
Breast cancer will appear as diffuse lump in breast. It can be feel by you. Still for confirmation mammography and sonography will be diagnostic investigation.
In short you didn't seem to have cancer. You may need few above mentioned investigation for complete diagnosis. If you other symptoms except lymph nodes , please let me know.

Hope I have answered your query. Looking forward for your response.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Oncologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor