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Five different points of swelling in neck/face

Over the last three weeks, I have become ill, to a degree.

First, I found a lump right under my jawbone, on the left side of my neck. It was larger than a pea and very, very tender. A day or two later, the swelling and pain disappeared.

A week or so after that, at the base of my neck (near my shoulder) on both sides were swollen and painful. Another point of swelling was next to my spine, very close to my hairline. This one was very large, probably nickle size, but there was no pain. I can still feel it now but not on the other side.

A week after that, three days ago, directly in front of my ear (on my face) became swollen. This was also pea sized (or slightly larger) and very tender. The pain was gone the next day, and the swelling has gone down. But now it feels like the same place on the opposite side of my face is beginning to swell.

Other symptoms that may or may not be related:
-fought a cold after the first swell
-diarrhea for three days after the second bought of swelling
-sharp, dagger like pain in the lungs for two/three days after the diarrhea had passed (couldn't take deep breath for two days)
-night sweats
-possible blurry vision
-wax build-up in ears
-skin-colored bumps on elbows and knees
-carpal-tunnel like symptoms (painful joints, swelling and tingling)
-lower right abdominal cramps

I am a 23-year-old female, smoker, that drinks on occasion but not in excess. I have had a Modified Barium Swallow regarding the dysphasia and no problems were found in the throat (at the time). I went to the gynocologist just last week and am clean, STD and cancer free. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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replied July 10th, 2011
Lymphoma typically causes painless (and progressive) enlargement of one or more lymph nodes. On the other hand, tender, painful lymph nodes are usually caused by infection or inflammation.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide a specific diagnosis over the Internet to patients with concerns regarding enlarged lymph nodes. Therefore, my advice is for you to see your doctor for an examination. If you have persistently enlarged lymph nodes (and especially if they continue to enlarge), then a biopsy may become necessary to rule-out lymphoma, or other cancers involving the lymph nodes.


Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

Author, "A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race"

A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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