Oncology (General Cancer)/lumps

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Question
Im a 29 year old caucasian male, smoker for about 15.years. I have always been pretty healthy up until this last year. Im 5'9"., and Ive always weighed alot for a guy my size, because Ive always been "stocky"? I had been unemployed for about a year. For the first couple months, I stayed home with our first child while my wife worked. Then,  when we decided it was time to find new work, I would spend between 4 and 8 hrs a day, sitting in a chair, on the computer putting in thousands of reumes. During this time, I didnt get much exercise, and put on a little weighg. My normal weight can be between 175-190. I found a new job and jumped in with both feet. I work in skilled trades, and was rebuilding machinery in a shop with no air conditioning. I left there for a better job, working in a super heavy industrial steel plant as an eeectromechanical technician.  I went from195 lb, to 165 lbs without trying, in about a year. In this time, Ialso had a molar break, actually 2 broke. So the one I had pulled, no root canal pr anything filling the hole, it just kinda healed over. The other one, I havent done anything with, because. i couldnt pay the copay because my wifes not working. We had a baby and he had cysts on his kidney. The kidney didnt grow properly, and when he was 6 months old, his body absorbed it. Now he has ome healthy kidney. My tooth had gotten swollen, and was hurting recently. I have also been clenching my teeth terribly, and grinding them. Now, I have a small lump in front of my earlobe, thats starting to get smaller because Ive been concentrating on not clenching. Then, I found a smaller lump on my neck. Right next to my throat, toward the top, under my jaw. Hypo (or hyper? Not sure) thyroidism runs in my family. As does Graves disease. My father passed away from cancer about 6 weeks ago, so its still fresh in all of our minds. Im acared about it. I love my wife so much, and Im terrified I wont be around to see my kids grow up. Do you think these are tumors? If so, what are the chances theyre benign? Recap: broken molar in back of mouth, smallish lump in front of earlobe on the same side as tooth, I suspect theyre connected, smaller lump umder jaw, next to throat, lost weighg ( which cld be from heavy industrial workload, poor eating habits, and sleep habits. The problem is, I cant seem to gain any back) . Family history of thyroid problems, family history of. Graves disease, sons kidney had cysts, now gone, child is very healthy otherwise. Plz help if u can!!! Thank u in advance!

Answer
You might have a thyroid problem, with respect to the weight loss and the symptoms of anxiety (but it sounds like you have lots of reasons for anxiety).  However, the places where you find the lumps don't sound like they are part of the thyroid.  If the lumps are not obviously growing, or getting smaller, they are almost certainly not cancer.  It sounds like they might be related to chronic infection, possibly from the bad tooth.  Obviously, I'd recommend a good doctor to check you out, but there probably isn't any huge rush.  Hope this helps.  

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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