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Pain behind ears, area seems to be tender, diagnosed to be enlarged gland. No improvement with medicine. Cancer sign?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1212 Questions
Hi doctor,

I am 26 year old and recently had Cesarean Section 6 months before.
I have pain behind my ears near the scalp,when I touch the area I feel painful and tender.
Also I have lice and nits in the hair and I thought it might have caused because of scratching the scalp.
Yesterday I went to General Physician to have a check ,she checked the area and said it is enlarged gland which could have been caused because of lice and nits in the hair.Also she prescribed few antibiotics
Gramocef-O,SN-15 and Rantac for 5 days morning and evening after food.
But my concern is I never had this problem before.Also I have been suffering with lice for more than 6 months and tried to get rid of it by using various anti-lice shampoos and other home remedies but it was in vain.
Also I used these antibiotics yesterday but it is still painful and I see there is no big improvement with the pain.

So I just Google'd with the diagnosis what GP told that enlarged glands behind the ears is the early sign of Blood or bone marrow cancer.Though,I don't have any fever or fatigue.No sweats and weight loss.

My only concern is whether this could be early sign of any of these cancer.
Will the enlarged gland behind ear be painful if it is cancerous or painless?
Few months back I had mild fungal infection in the vagina and it was treated with anti fungal medication and I do not have any such symptoms now.Is this anywhere related to this enlarged glands.

Can you please let me know under what circumstances do I need to consult a doctor again?
Is there anything that I need to observe with the symptoms?

Posted Thu, 6 Jun 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 31 minutes later
Thanks for your query.

The most common causes of enlarged gland behind the ear are scalp problems like dandruff, lice, etc. Hence I think your GP has made the right diagnosis.

Cancerous nodes are usually painless. The fact that yours are painful suggests that it is probably infective. Antibiotics take some time to act and you need to wait it out till then.

The vaginal fungal infection is unrelated to these glands.

Only if the pain persists for more than a week or there is fever then you should consult the doctor again. Swelling may persist for long time even if the infection is cured.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer further followup queries, if any.
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