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Pediatrics/Lump on side of neck


Hello, I am a 15 year old male and I found a lump on the left side of my neck. I'm pretty sure it's not a lymph node because it's completely on the left side in the middle. I already had a smaller lump on the right side of my neck a little further down, And I can only really feel it when I tilt my head to the left, it's about the size of a fingertip at most. I recently had a physical though and he felt my whole neck and didn't say anything was wrong. But I'm not concerned about the lump on the right because I have had it for a while and my doctor probably would have noticed if it was bad. My mom also knows a good amount about this stuff and isn't concerned about it. I also found a lump on my left side in the same area as the one on the right side (the small one I was talking about before), so I'm guessing it is normal since I have one on each side in the same place. Am I only feel them if I tilt my head in the opposite direction. But those two aren't really why I came to you, I just thought I should add that. I came here because I found a different lump on my left side, the lump I opened the paragraph with at the beggening. Like I said, it's completey on the side, like the other two lumps so probably not a lymph node. But I just noticed this one. I may have had it longer, but probably not. I also only feel it if I tilt my head to the right. It's located behind the smaller lump on my left side. It is a little bigger and longer. But it doesn't hurt. Is this some kind of cancer? I literally had a physical a couple weeks ago and I was healthy. Thanks for you're time

Hi, Trent, fellow Michigander!,

Most likely these are lymph nodes.  We have an anterior and a posterior chain of nodes in the neck. Without seeing you and doing a careful exam and a history, I can't tell you what these are.  Most nodes are reactive, reacting to something like a viral illness.  A good pediatrician should be able to distinguish benign reactive nodes from nodes of bad stuff.  You need to schedule a visit with your pediatrician, express what your concerns are, and have him determine what they are.  Almost certainly they are not cancer, but it sounds like someone needs to reassure everyone that these are fine.  

Good luck, Dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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