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Head and Neck Cancer

Lump in throat for 8 years

07/30/2008

Question:

Hello. I have had I lump on the left side of my throat for about 8 years. It`s located in the upper throat area by below a gland, kind of below my jaw. I never thought anything of it because it never bothered me, but over the years every once in a while where the lump is, I get an achey feeling or pain that lasts for a few weeks. It comes and goes though. It`s not a constant pain and sometmes my left ear bothers me the same time I`m having the neck pain.

It has grown a little bit over the years and has now pushed a gland that I have up towards my ear, kinda following the ear canal. I hope that makes sense. I am so terrified that it is cancer. I hate the doctors, but have made an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor for this Monday. I have to put my mind at ease. I`m worrying so much that I have made myself sick. I have very high anxiety, so this doesn`t help. I`m hoping it`s nothing serious because I`ve had it for so many years and I`m assuming I`m okay. Can you please let me know what you think of my situation? Thank you.

Answer:

I am glad that you made an appointment….do not miss it. A lump in the neck that has been present for more than 2 weeks should be evaluated. I do not want to guess exactly where this mass is and what it could be. A lot of different diagnoses are possible. I agree with you that the longer the mass is present it is less likely to be a cancer, but cancer is still possible. Regardless even a benign lesion should be addressed and probably removed depending on your age and overall medical condition. Please do not miss your appointment. Once you know, your level of anxiety will be much less.

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Response by:

Pierre  Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS Pierre Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University