Oncology (General Cancer)/Swollen glad

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Question
On the right side of my neck just under my jaw bone I have a large bump that is moveable horizontal that pops to the side when I press on it. I have had it for months so I went to the doctor who dismissed it as a reactive lymph node that was not abnormal in size. I do have tmj and post nasal drip with cobblestoning on the right side of my throat. I also had a nasty tooth infection over a year ago which I needed a root canal. The lump is directly below that tooth. I also grind my teeth and clinch my jaw.z I suffer from anxiety so I do tend to worry about the worse case senerio. Could this be the submandilar saliva gland I am feeling? If this is a node is it normal to stay enlarged for months? Should I be worried since my doctor didnt seem to worry?

Answer
It could be an enlarged node, filled with scar tissue after a chronic infection, which is what it sounds like.  Or it could be an impacted salivary gland, in which case I would expect it to hurt.  In any event if it isn't enlarging, I don't think you have anything serious to worry about.  lymph nodes which lie in the path of low grade infections (like an infected tooth) can become reactive, and gradually get firm and hard.  If you cut into them, they tend to show a lot of scar tissue.  They are also aggravated by moving them and feeling them a lot.  I'd leave it alone and trust your doctor.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

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Donald Higby, M.D.

Expertise

I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.

Experience

I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

Organizations
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Publications
New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

Education/Credentials
MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

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