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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Swelling on Neck



I do not believe that I have neck cancer, however this is the closest topic to what I want to ask.

I first noticed discomfort and sensitivity on my neck two weeks ago. I had a fever (99.5-101 range) and fatique. I went to the doctor and he ran a mono test- it came back negative.

I no longer have a fever, but the discomfort on the left side of my neck has become a lump larger than a golf ball. It is not exactly painful, but it is uncomfortable for me to move my neck or to touch the lump. I have swollen lymph nodes near my collarbone, lower in my neck, and in my groin, but the largest of these is about the size of a marble. My throat has become sore on the side with the lump, swallowing is painful and it has a burning sensation most of the time. My fatigue is less now, but still interfering with my normal activities.

What should I do?


Lumps in the neck are often related to enlarged lymph glands.  These can become swollen in response to infection, in which case they are usually tender, or they can represent a more ominous diagnosis, such as cancer.  Your best bet is to consult an ENT physician to have a complete evaluation.

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati