ZocdocAnswersWhat could cause the swollen lymph node under my jaw?

Question

What could cause the swollen lymph node under my jaw?

I am a 21 year old female with about a 2.5-3 cm sized lymph node. I noticed it about a year ago and went to an ENT doctor who did scans on it and a biopsy but determined it was not cancerous. After that he just told me to not worry about it. They did blood tests as well and said it was not strep, mono, or anything like that. I am just curious as to what could have caused it, because I still never got my questions answered. It is not sensitive to touch but it is noticeable on my neck. It does seem to slowly get bigger over time, but I would think if he wanted it taken out I would have had it removed. I am still curious as to what is going on with it. If you have any suggestions that would be very helpful. My doctor works at Texas Oncology and is extremely hard to get a hold of.

Answer

Sorry to hear about your persistent questions, and that it is hard to get a hold of your doctor. It is important that you speak with your surgeon about your question. Most surgeons will have some method in which patients can get in touch with them in a consistent manner, which is very important due to the serious nature of the issues they treat. In your situation, your surgeon has made some steps to help make sure that this node is not something more serious. Fortunately, all tests so far are not concerning. The fact that you remain concerned, however, and that this is still growing, does raise the possibility of being more aggressive in working up this problem. While thus far the evidence seems reassuring, there may be some value in resecting this lymph node if there are any concerns that still remain. This will obviously have some risks, but the risks may be worth it if you remain concerned and your surgeon feels it is appropriate. Infections, tumors, stones, and many other things can cause such a swelling, and one or the other may be more or less likely depending on other information your doctor will have. Please speak with your surgeon about this question, and get a second opinion if necessary.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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