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Possibility of cancerous lymph nodes

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I discovered a hard lump behind my left ear. It is hard like bone it is about the size of a dime. I am not sure what it could be it is painful, somethimes it is sharp pains but mostly dull achey pains. I am scared i have alot of medical problems and i am not sure what this could be or what to do. Any suggestions? I am so scared that it may be cancer


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replied December 11th, 2009
Lymphoma Answer A8431
Hello, welcome to ehealth forum. Hope the following will help your cause.
Your concern seems to be about the malignant nature of the lump which seems to be an enlarged lymph node behind the ear.

It is not possible to make a diagnosis online but I will try to help you with the information you provided. Size of the lymph node seems to you to be that of a dime which works out to around 2.26 cm2 and which, according to literature, is significant enough to rule out head and neck cancer plus the hard or stony hard feel of the lump again goes in favor of cancer.


Though lymph nodes with metastatic secondaries usually are not painful as pain is usually the result of an inflammatory process or suppuration, but pain may also result from hemorrhage into the necrotic center of a malignant node. So the cancer needs to be ruled out. You also have a history of tobacco intake for more than 5 years which again is a risk factor for head and neck cancer.

The point against malignancy is your age as cancer is more common after age 40-50 years but still, you might like to visit an ENT specialist for a thorough examination to rule out cancer and the need for further tests including and up to an excisional biopsy to establish the final diagnosis.

Hope this helps. Take care.


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