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spreading lumps in my neck
May 6, 2001

Dear Dr., First of all thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I appreciate it.

I had dtected a large (visible) lump under my chin, i went to the ent specialist, and he found more "lumps" in my neck and just said to wait 4 weeks to see if they go away. Well, after 4 weeks, the lump underneath went away, but i have a couple in my neck (bilateral 12?) and marble-sized lumps on each side of my jaw line. He then put me on antibotics (keflex)2000 mg a day. He did no blood work, all is based on visual inspections. I go back May 24, and I have been on these antibotics2 weeks and they still haven't gone down. What do you suggest? Is this cancer? or a form of it?

Response from Dr. Dezube

Lumps such as yours, which do not go away or shrink, after a month or so, particular after you take antibiotics, should be biopsied. There are many things which they could be; many diseases can cause inflammed lymph nodes. The majority are NOT due to cancer, but obviously it will be important to check for this by a biopsy. The fact that you have bilateral (both sides of the neck) nodes is actually reassuring. Cancer tends to involve one side more than the other side, whereas infections tend to involve both sides of the neck equally. (This is obviously a rule-of-thumb which is often broken). Good luck. BD.


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