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Neck lump Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Neck lump. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you had the neck lump?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Where exactly is the neck lump?

    Why: to determine if lump is focal, diffuse, midline or lateral and thus help establish diagnosis.

  3. Is there a single lump or multiple lumps?

    Why: multiple lumps are usually lymph nodes.

  4. Is the swelling intermittent or constant?

    Why: An intermittent swelling suggests pulsion diverticulum, venous distention of congestive cardiac failure, a bronchial cyst, a stone of Wharton's duct (stone in the submandibular salivary gland duct) and aneurysms.

  5. Past medical history?

    Why: e.g. cancer of the nasal cavity, pharynx, tongue, lips, mucous membrane (lining of the mouth), larynx and thyroid spread to neck lymph nodes.

  6. Medications?

    Why: e.g. lithium and amiodarone may cause an enlarged goitre and hypothyroidism; most medications may cause enlarged lymph nodes. The most notable is dilantin, but the antibiotics, aspirin, iodides and certain antihypertensive drugs can cause enlarged lymph nodes also.

  7. Illicit drug use?

    Why: e.g. neck masses may result from intravenous neck vein drug abuse.

  8. Contact with animals?

    Why: e.g. cat scratch disease occurs between 7-14 days after a cat scratch or bite and features a small red papule at the site associated with localized lymph node enlargement; toxoplasmosis results from ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated by infected cat faeces.

  9. Sexual history?

    Why: may help in determining the risk of syphilis and HIV if generalized lymph nodes enlargement.

  10. Dietary history?

    Why: e.g. endemic dietary iodine deficiency or iodine induced hypothyroidism.

  11. Immunisations?

    Why: e.g. measles, rubella.

  12. Pain?

    Why: e.g. neck, throat, ears, teeth, sinus - may help determine cause of neck swelling.

  13. Tremor?

    Why: should consider Grave's disease and subacute thyroiditis.

  14. Shortness of breath?

    Why: may suggest congestive heart failure, tuberculosis, lung cancer. A thyroid lump may also cause difficulty in breathing due to compression of the trachea.

  15. Lumps or ulcers on the skin of the head or face that have changed in size or begun to bleed?

    Why: may suggest skin cancer with metastasis to the cervical lymph nodes.

  16. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, increased heart rate, preference for cooler weather, intolerance of heat, increased appetite, weight loss, increased sweating, tremor, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, lack of menstrual periods, frequent urination. May suggest Grave's disease, subacute thyroiditis (de Quervain's thyroiditis), toxic multinodular goitre or early Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

  17. Symptoms of Grave's disease?

    Why: e.g. symptoms of hyperthyroidism with a diffuse goitre (enlarged thyroid gland) and with protruding eyeballs.

  18. Symptoms of hypothyroidism?

    Why: e.g. lethargy, weight gain, constipation, puffiness of face and eyes, hair loss, dry skin. Suggests Hashimoto's disease, drug induced hypothyroidism or dietary iodine deficiency.

  19. Symptoms of congestive cardiac failure?

    Why: e.g. palpitations, shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles and lower legs. May also cause diffuse swelling of the neck due to venous distension.

  20. Symptoms of tonsillitis?

    Why: e.g. fever, sore throat, difficulty with swallowing due to pain, malaise, white pus spots on tonsils, enlarged neck lymph nodes.

  21. Symptoms of infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever)?

    Why: e.g. sore throat, fever, tiredness, poor appetite, aching muscles, skin rash, enlarged tonsils, enlarged neck lymph nodes.

  22. Symptoms of sarcoidosis?

    Why: e.g. shortness of breath, cough, tiredness, joint pain, skin symptoms occur in 10% of cases and may include purple or brown plaques or nodules on face, nose, ears and neck in chronic sarcoidosis. Peripheral lymph node enlargement occurs in 5% of people.

  23. Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?

    Why: e.g. painless localized or widespread enlarged lymph nodes, sweating, generalized itch.

  24. Symptoms of Hodgkin's disease?

    Why: e.g. painless (rubbery) enlarged lymph nodes especially in the neck or axilla, malaise, weakness, weight loss, fever, drenching night sweats, generalized itch, alcohol induced in any enlarged lymph nodes.

  25. Symptoms of branchial cyst?

    Why: e.g. painless ovoid swelling in the upper outer part of the neck. The lump may become painful associated with an increase in size of the swelling.

  26. Symptoms of a carotid body tumor?

    Why: e.g. painless slow growing hard lump in the upper outer neck which pulsates.

  27. Symptoms of a cystic hygroma?

    Why: e.g. present at birth or within the first few years of life with a lobulated lump at the base of the neck.

  28. Symptoms of pharyngeal pouch?

    Why: e.g. long history of bad breath and recurrent sore throats before noticing the common presenting symptoms of regurgitation of undigested food. As the pouch grows it presses on the esophagus and causes difficulty with swallowing. The neck lump changes in size and often disappears.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Neck lump:

The following list of conditions have 'Neck lump' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Neck lump or choose View All.

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