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Lump on neck for more than a year: what can it be?

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My question is this: I have had this lump on the right side of my neck for some time now (over a year) and I have had feelings of fullness in my head (pressure) Two cat scans and an MRI of neck and head and an MRA of head showed normal. I have been to the er room for this on one occasion because the pressure was very bad and I felt I needed medical attention right away. After I was seen and blood work done it showed that my Neutropphils count was high(79.2) range= 43.0 - 72.0% / Lymphcytes Low (14.2) range = 18.0 - 43.0%. My segs for the Differential Manual were high 78 range = 25 - 62% and lymphs low 15 range= 20 - 52%. I was also told the lumpo in my neck was a swollen/infected lymph node (2 doctors confirmed this) The ER doctor suggested I bring this to my doctors attention, which I did the next day, and she told me there was nothing wrong with me except stress due to the death of my mother (died of lung cancer in March 2006 - I was at the doctors for this in June 2006). So nothing was done except that she kept me on Ativan for stress, which did nothing for the feelings I get on the same side of my head that the lump is on. Over the past several months I have been getting night sweats, feelings of just not feeling good (always asking "do I have a fever?" and feeling hot and cold- wake up with night sweats which are not constant but enough to make me aware there is something going on) - I am just getting over a sinus infection that took two weeks to clear the infection but I still have a cough and achey feelings (like the flu) I had a chest x-ray which was normal. I did some research on the low and high counts of the blood and the swollen lymph node in my neck and it all led me to Hodgkins/Non Hodgkins disease. I am in need of some advice - Should I seek a second opinion from another doctor or wait until my symptoms get worse? HELP!

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replied November 2nd, 2006
Cancers Answer A1731
If you have had a lump on your neck for more than a year, it is possible that it is a swollen lymph node or might be identified as a tumor. You'll have to have it examined closely. Swollen lymph nodes can be caused by inflammation or a lymph tumor.
Inflammation can be acute or chronic. In your case, an acute inflammation seems out of question because you have experienced the lump for more than a year. Chronic inflammation (specific or non-specific) has to be investigated. Tuberculosis might also be another possible explanation. Tuberculosis is a specific, chronic inflammation.
Lymph tumors can be secondary (metastasis) or primary. Primary lymph tumors are classified as Hodgkin or Non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
The lump requires a needle punition for cytological examination. Surgical removal and a pathological examination can be performed afterward, if necessary.
You provided a small part of your blood laboratory analyses. A differential blood picture analysis is of little conclusive value without knowing the absolute amounts for neutrophils, lymphocytes and monocytes. Blood sedimentation and body temperature are also very important for making conclusions about your “fever”.
HIV-testing might be also considered in your case.

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