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What is the cause of a lump in my neck?

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Practicing since : 2002
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HI my name is Barb I have had a lump in the left side of my neck for quite some time now. sometimes it causes headaches and other times it is just there. I can feel it sometimes but other times I really have to search for it. I have had breast cancer 4.5 years ago but have been all clear since can you tell me what this could be.
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later

Thanks for your query.

As far as the lump on the side of your neck the first thing we think of is of course a lymph node. Most swollen lymph nodes are reactive - meaning they swell in reaction to a virus or some kind of infection or even an allergen which triggers an inflammatory response.

These types of reactive nodes can sometimes persist for a few months before slowly resolving and is the most likely cause of what you have going on. Another possibility could be a simple fluid filled cyst or sebaceous cyst. These also typically persist for a number of weeks before slowly resolving on their own.

In light of the fact that you have a history of breast cancer it is worthwhile to bring this to the attention of your physician so that it can be monitored.

Regarding your cancer history can you give me a bit of detail as to which breast was affected, if lymph nodes were examined at the time of surgery and what therapies you had following the surgery.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my response to be both helpful as well as reassuring. If you have any additional concerns regarding this issue I would be happy to address them and I look forward to the additional information you can provide regarding your breast cancer history.


Dr. Galamaga
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