Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Lump on neck

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: turtlegirl
  • February 9, 2008
  • 04:55 AM

So, about six years ago, I noticed a lump on the back of my neck. It was about the size of a pencil eraser and painless. For one reason or another, I thought nothing of it. The lump was there for at least 4 years. Now, I'm not sure if I just stopped noticing it, or if it's back, but started feeling it again about a week and a half ago. It's under the skin on the left side of my spine (but is not a PART of my spine- I can move it around). It's still painless, and you can't feel most of it unless you apply pressure to the spot.

I went to see my PCP a couple of days ago. He literally talked to me for about three minutes. He felt the lump and told me that since he doesn't know what it is, he's just going to assume that it's nothing. He also told me that he doesn't know if there are lymph nodes in the back of the neck. Both of these statements kind of alarmed me. Just because he doesn't know what it is off the bat, we'll assume it's nothing? He doesn't know if there are lymph nodes in the back of the neck?

In addition to the lump, I've also been experiencing other problems. I'm no stranger to headaches, but they've been coming a lot more frequently lately. Also, the head pain is on the left side of my forehead instead of the middle, where it usually is. More often than not, the headache sticks around for two or more days.

I've also been experiencing fatigue throughout the day for several years now. I never thought to connect that to the lump before, but I think I've been feeling this fatigue since about the time the lump first showed up.

This is kind of gross, but I'm also having problems with bowel movements. For the last week or so, every time I go I get a really sharp pain around the opening. Then there is blood on the toilet paper. I've never had this before.

Lastly, and maybe not so significantly, I just don't feel right. I feel sick all the time. I'll sleep for 12 or so hours and still feel tired. It's hard to explain...my body just doesn't feel okay. It's not really hurting (besides the headaches) and I don't feel like I'm getting a cold or the flu.

Should I go to another doctor and be sure to tell him/her all of this? Do I have nothing to worry about at all? Am I losing my mind and thinking about this too much??


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  • ah..smarter than the doc, are we...right on...docs should know if there are lymph nodes on the back of the neck..sounds like a harmless cyst, but after you find another doctor, they need to run a thorough blood workup on you...the new doctor should be able to tell you their opinion of the lump. Since this "lump" has grown over the past few years, I would imagine a normal doctor would view that as concern for biopsy...
    Monsterlove 2921 Replies
    • February 9, 2008
    • 06:15 AM
    • 0
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  • "I don't know what it is, so I'll assume..."That's right, When you assume things, you make an **s out of u and me.Beautiful.Please do not go back to this guy. Because one visit will turn into two, and then two will turn into three, and then before you know it, you've wasted years and years suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition. Whoops!That's what happened to me anyways. For eight years I had autoimmune thyroiditis, complicated by encephalopathy, and my doctors said "I don't know, so I'll assume it's depression". Actually, they left out the "I don't know part", and just assumed that my hair falling out, dry skin, neurological signs and symptoms, constipation, etc was "depression"...I suppose I let it happen. But then again, my brain was inflamed so it was easy to go along with their bad advice/diagnoses. And the paxils do kind of look like tic tacs so maybe it was okay that I was eating them like mints.Sorry. I really don't mean to be so bitter or sarcastic. I just do not want anyone else to suffer at the hands of doctors who in reality can't handle saying "I don't know". Sometimes "I don't know but let's refer you to someone who can figure this out" is the best "diagnosis" they can offer.The lump on your back might just be something completely benign. But it might not be, so I think it would be a good idea to select another primary care doctor, and ask for a second opinion. Hopefully this will result in a derm referral or biopsy if warranted, or both. Hopefully they can establish if the lump is related to your other symptoms.The other symptoms you describe are what doctors would call vague. Fatigue, headaches, malaise can be from so many things. You need to select a doctor who understands how they are negatively impacting your life and who can really get to the bottom of them and see if they are related to the pain with bowel movements and/or the lump. Lymph nodes don't usually swell up just because they are having a bad day. It's supposed to be a helpful hint for the doctors.I'm heavily influenced by my own diagnosis because I went through so much to get it, so I'll throw it out as a suggestion, but really your new doctor should have an incredibly long list of possible things this could be and work tirelessly to rule them all out.My illness is called Hashimoto's Encephalopathy, which caused profound fatigue and headaches. I also developed hemorrhoids (giving me symptoms that sound a lot like yours) secondary to constipation that I think was from my cells not seeing enough thyroid hormone on a regular basis.If you find yourself months or years from now with the same symptoms and still no explanation, then you may want to ask to have your thyroid antibody levels checked just to make sure it isn't HE. My thyroid hormone levels always came back "normal", but I had almost every sign and symptom of hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, since doctors usually don't check thyroid antibodies unless your hormones are off first, my thyroiditis went undetected and my symptoms became suspect. After I got diagnosed, i obtained my medical records and saw that most of my doctors did not even think I was ill at all. One even wrote that everything that comes out of my mouth should be considered "hearsay".Whoops.I don't know how much any of this will apply to you. I guess the first step is to go to someone smart- that is, someone who is okay with saying "I don't know" but who will earnestly try to figure it out. It sounds like along the way someone might want to biopsy your lump and do a colonoscopy too, just to make sure they are not missing the more serious causes for these things.I hope you get an answer soon, and remember, stay away from bad doctors. They can make you sicker than you already are.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 9, 2008
    • 09:12 AM
    • 0
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