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Head and Neck Cancer

Should I See Doctor For Swollen Lymph Nodes?



Two weeks ago both my lymph nodes below my ears on my jaw line became swollen/pink and painful. My left side is now very enlarged and hard (it`s like half a gumball and can be seen in the mirror), the other side is less painfull/swollen/pink. A few days ago a lymph node on the base of my neck (below the bad one) became hard/painfull/swollen/pink, it`s smaller, but can easily be seen in the mirror. I`m 29, white male, I never get sick (never had anything besides a cold or flu in my life). They hurt worse at night. I have no insurance and I don`t even have a doctor so I`d like to figure out what to do. Through out the two weeks they have only gotten worse, what could be causing this if I feel fine? How long is too long for these to be swollen with no other symptoms? Thank you so much!


Pierre Lavertu, MD

You definitely need to see a doctor. Any swelling in your neck present for more than 2 weeks should be evaluated. There are a lot of possibilities for the presence of this swelling including infection and tumors. Obviously your lack of medical coverage complicates matters. Regardless there has to be somewhere in your community where you can be seen even without coverage.

NetWellness Staff

The US Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Primary Health Care has a directory that will help you find a clinic that will give you medical, including dental care, even if you have no medical insurance or money.

Coverage For All.org also contains information about free medical care and programs in your area.

For more information:

Go to the Head and Neck Cancer health topic, where you can:

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

NetWellness Staff