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Hard fixed lump on back close to neck

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Three days ago I noticed a marble size lump under the skin, on my upper left side of my back about an inch from my spine and an inch down from my neck. The next day my upper shoulder muscle was swelled to a visibly noticeable point and there was mild pain and discomfort. After applying heat the pain moved into my neck and gave me a headache where the spine attaches to the head. When lying down on back it feels tight and I feel the pressure of the swelling. Today the swelling and pain is climbing up my neck and down my back. the lump is hard and does not move.
I do not want to waste anyone's time or my money to discover that the doctor believes it is nothing. I am a 29 year old female. I smoke about 10 cigarettes a day and drink socially twice a month. I have confirmed stomach ulcers and ovarian cysts. However I do not see these issues accounting for the swelling and discomfort I am currently experiencing. Could this be something serious?
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replied February 4th, 2012
Especially eHealthy

Most small superficial masses such as these are epidermal inclusion cysts or sebaceous cysts. These are benign and usually go away on their own. However, they can develop an infection around them. This could be causing the swelling and discomfort.

However, there are other things that can cause masses, of course. Usually, malignant tumors do not arise quickly. But, anything is possible.

If the swelling continues to spread, you develop other symptoms, or the area just doesn't get any better, you might want to see a physician for an evaluation. Over the internet, it is not really possible to provide an exact cause.

So, again, you may need a physician to examine the back and possible do some studies (ultrasound, MRI, blood tests), if this does not clear up shortly.

Good luck.
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replied February 5th, 2012
Thank you.
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