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"I have two small lumps on the side of my neck. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have two small lumps on the side of my neck. What could it be?


I seem to have 2 small painless lumps on the side of my neck. I feel I have had them for at least 2 weeks and a half. Additionally they also move to the touch. What can this mean?


Thanks for your question. These lumps could be several things, but do need to be evaluated by a doctor in the very near future. An otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon (AKA, ENT or ear nose and throat surgeon) would likely be in the best position to help you with this problem. Lumps come from several different sources. One of the most common explanations has to do with local reactions to trauma or infection. When these happen, the lymph nodes swell to help your body remain healthy. Usually, this sort of lymph node swelling, or lymphadenopathy, can be noted to be red, swollen, tender, etc. When lumps are not tender, it makes it somewhat less likely that they are reacting to something infectious or traumatic, and perhaps more likely that they have another explanation. While not pleasant to talk about, tumors such as cancers and other neoplasms can cause painless lymph node swelling. For that reason, speaking with your doctor in the very near future is important to make sure that you are appropriately diagnosed, and perhaps treated. He or she may want to treat you with a trial of antibiotics first, or may move immediately to testing these lumps. Please speak with your doctor.

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