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Health Anxiety Are you plagued by fears about your body or health? Are you suffering from Health Anxiety? Please check other sub-forums first to see if your problem should be posted there instead. E.G. the IBS forum or the medication forum or the symptoms forum.
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Old 28-03-07, 11:31
sxalabarde sxalabarde is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 22
Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

Hi guys,

I posted this on another site, but nobody seemed to be able to help me. I'm freaking out.

Basically, last week I noticed a small lump (no more than 5 milimetres) on my neck. It is just at the lower end of my neck, right on top of a muscle I think it's called the trapezius. Basically where the neck starts to meet the shoulder.

To begin with, it felt rubbery and somewhat movable (though I do freak out about what movable means). You can sort of roll it between your fingers to some extent but not that much. Also, it seems to be somewhat attached to the muscle. The lump seemed smooth and nicely rounded. I thought cancer (though these aren't the usual signs), of course, and went to the doctor.

The doctor was so unhelpful it's unbelievable. She said she didn't think it was a lymph node (but she wasn't sure). She said she didn't think it was a cyst but then again it could be. She said things like this sometimes turn up and are nothing to worry about (but once again she couldn't be sure). For the first time I left the doctor more anxious than when I went in. Her advice was 'highly unlikely to be cancer and come back if it grows or something'.

The next part of the story is that that day I actually started fiddling with it and I realised I could bend it out of shape, and make it no longer potrude from the skin. I even seeemed to make it much smaller, though after a few hours it returned. It's as though it's made of paste or plasticiline.

Now, my question is, has anybody had anything remotely like this? I couldn't find anything at all like this on Google. Does this sound like it could still be cancerous? I'm really worried. I have made an appointment to see a BUPA doctor next week on the fourth, as I would like at least a proper explanation, but until then, does this sound like something to worry about?

Any help appreciated. Thanks
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Old 28-03-07, 11:51
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nell1965 nell1965 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 268
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

im am not a doctor and even if i was without examining you i still wouldnt be able to tell you for sure. I am a nurse and it is my experience and only my experience that cancer does not present this way because of the nature of this website i am not going to go into how it does present as i am not in the buisiness of escalating other peoples anxiety. It does sound like it could be a benign cyst,i suspect if it was an abscess there would be localised inflammation and pain, it could also be a tiny piece of herniated muscle tissue (nothing to worry about) my other half has some of these on his forearms and while they can feel soft and squidgy and look quite big at times they are not painful and nothing to worry about. If your gp really thought it was something to be concerned about she would have have referred you on or taken a biopsy, try and remain calm until you see doc next week. Try and remember that as hard as this is to take there isnt always an explaination for everything, sometimes things just happen to us for no reason particularly as we get older and its very very few lumps and bumps that actually turn out to be terminal cancer, i hope this helps.

The most important skill in staying calm
is not to lose sleep over small issues.
The second most important skill is to be
able to view all issues as small issues.
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Old 28-03-07, 13:39
Claire09 Claire09 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?


Ive got a lump like you describe where the hairline ends at the back of my neck in the middle, Ive had mine for years. Probably nothing to worry about but just get your doctor to keep an eye on it and if you feel its not right then get her to refer you. Ive had lots of lumps over the years one in my breast my leg, neck and always have thought the worst they have all turned out to be fine.

Take it easy and try to stop worrying.

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Old 28-03-07, 15:36
mirry mirry is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 2,923
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

Ive got quite a few of them !
I remember the first one I found when I was 17 and the doc did blood tests.
The last one I found last august at the back of my neck near my spine, they feel wobbly, like they move when you press one side of it.
I dont worry about it and as one doctor told me "STOP LOOKING FOR THINGS"
not easy for us anxiety sufferers is it.
I wouldnt be worried if the docs not worried, just keep an eye on it.

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Old 28-03-07, 19:46
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nomorepanic nomorepanic is offline
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Location: , , United Kingdom.
Posts: 39,420
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

I have one on my back and the doc squeezed it very hard - even though it doesn't look like a boil/cyst etc and stuff came out and he said it was a sebaceous cyst.

It still comes back and I just have to get my partner to squeeze it again.

I found this for you ...


“Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” - Natalie Babbitt

Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate

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Old 30-03-07, 10:03
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strawberrie strawberrie is offline
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Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

Hi, i have had this too. i had one nearer the top of my neck which my doctor said was a lymph node, but because i went on and on about it she sent me for tests and it of course turned out to be a lymph node .

More recently i had one just where you describe, just the same as you describe. I went back to the doctors about it and she said she thought it was just the tendons in my neck that i could feel and it was certainly nothing to worry about.

Quite often i think doctors dont really know what things are, but because they know its not something serious, they dont feel the need to find out. We all have changes happening to our bodies all the time, which is perfectly normal, so my guess is that your doctor knows that this lump is not the sign of any serious so she doesnt really need to find out if its a lymph node or a cyst or anything else harmless, as its not affecting your health in any way (apart from the fact that its making you worry).

I really dont think you have anything at all to worry about.

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Old 05-12-12, 04:07
Hollyt Hollyt is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

Thank you for this post... I felt a little lump on the side of my neck about a month ago. I went to the chiropractor today and he said it's a lymph node. That made me worry and look it up. Everything is read is related to cancer... I am kind of a hypochandriac anyway and occasionally have panic attacks. Anyway this thread made me feel better. I'm hoping to go to a cheap general doctor soon just to lessen my worries or to confirm them.
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Old 02-04-13, 05:27
Dr. Jen Dr. Jen is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

Hi. Yes, I have a weird lump too, right where the neck meets the shoulder on the left side. It seems to sit on the trapezius muscle right at the base of the neck. It's not a hard lump but more like a fluid filled sack that doesn't hurt when I press it. So, did I panic? No. Did I go running to the medical doctor for FEAR that it was "the big 'C'?" No way! I'm a doctor myself (a chiropractor) and I realize that the worst thing to do is panic. I have 5 active patients who as of now are each in various stages of cancer treatment. I knew it would be more to my advantage to "put on my thinking cap" and figure it out before losing my mind.
Could it be a swollen lymph node? Well, lymph nodes are usually small and not as big as what I have. Also, swollen usually means pain and this was not painful. It's still a possibility but what else could it be?
Could it be a tumor of sorts? Well, possibly a fatty tumor. But why would I have a fatty tumor in that spot? For the most part, fatty tumors are benign and grow so as to protect the structure it grows on. I have one on my shin since I'm a kid. It developed from getting out of the pool. I'd pull myself up by putting my shin on the edge of the pool which was made of concrete (why didn't I just use the ladder???) But what could a fatty tumor be protecting in such an unusual spot like my trapezius muscle?
Wait a minute! Not long ago, I changed bra styles and went with a wider strap for better support. The bra had been sitting right on that spot and I've had to move it over so as not to hurt me. So, this lump could be a fatty tumor (benign) which developed from the pressure of my bra!! Wow! Who ever thought that big breasts could be such a nuisance!!
So don't panic. Think about every aspect of the injury site. What unusual "forces" may be a possible reason for this problem? Do you hold the phone in your neck on that side? Do you wear a heavy purse on your shoulder? When you go to the doctor's office and are asked a thousand questions, just by thinking about it beforehand, you can give the doctor some good information which may reveal a clue as to what could be the culprit.
So, relax! This one doesn't merit much worry. But do get it checked out-just for the record!
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Old 02-04-13, 15:16
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Mogwog Mogwog is offline
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Posts: 584
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

I have something similar but have always just thought it was a lymph node, as it moves. Doesn't bother me though which is weird as I worry about everything.

Sounds like it could be any number of things but NOT cancer.

Feel reassured by the fact that loads of people on here seen to have something similar.

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Old 03-04-13, 02:29
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.Poppy. .Poppy. is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,096
Re: Weird, weird lump. Do I have anything to worry about?

I have something similar under my chin - smooth, rounded, moveable. I also have one behind my ear that is the same but harder. I used to play with it actually and found I could make it change shape for a few seconds.

It's funny (but not really) but I noticed these things when I was probably 11 years old. I guess even then I had health anxiety....I freaked out for years. I had convinced myself that I had cancer and it was just luck that I was still there.

Anyway, about a year ago I decided to just face it and go to the doctor. I'd had it for so long I figured it was all or nothing. He felt it and said that it felt like maybe a lymph node or something, but that it wasn't serious. According to my doc, if it's rounded and moves that is a GOOD sign. He ran a blood test to be sure and it all came back normal - so I'm not worrying about it anymore.

Just try to relax - I know, easier said than done. I'm sure your doctor would have noticed if it were something more serious.
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lump, weird, worry

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