Cervical Lymph Node Swelling

What Causes Lump On Front Or Side Of Neck?

Lump on front or side of neck can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'very minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose lump on front or side of neck, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "lump on front or side of neck" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)
  • Kali Mur Need
  • Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Mercury Toxicity

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
Caucasian ethnicity
vision disturbances
recent body hair loss
poor balance
frequent swollen axillary nodes
unsound sleep
chest pain when breathing
slight diffuse bone pain
multiple swollen inguinal nodes
multiple painful inguinal nodes
back-of-neck lymph node problems
dizziness when standing up
... and more than 140 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of lump on front or side of neck:
Cause Probability Status
Epstein-Barr Virus 94% Confirm
Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) 15% Unlikely
Mercury Toxicity 22% Unlikely
Kali Mur Need 0% Ruled out
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 0% Ruled out
Hodgkin's Lymphoma 0% Ruled out
HIV/AIDS 0% Ruled out
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate recent swollen/painful lymph nodes, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
SIDES OR FRONT OF NECK: Do you have any swollen lymph nodes here?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Often, but not right now
→ 1-2 lymph nodes swollen
→ 3 or more lymph nodes swollen
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate no swollen cervical nodes, frequent swollen cervical nodes, swollen cervical nodes or multiple swollen cervical nodes, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia Syndrome
The lymph nodes involved in CFS are small, moveable, not tender and most commonly involve the neck, axillary region or inguinal region.  A single lymph node that is very large, tender or immovable suggests a diagnosis other than CFS.  Similarly, generalized adenopathy suggests a diagnosis other than CFS.
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
As another one of its nicknames – glandular fever – implies, perhaps the most distinguishing mono symptom is enlarged glands or lymph nodes, especially in the neck, but also in the armpit(s) and groin.
HIV/AIDS
Swollen, firm and possibly tender lymph nodes lasting longer than three months are a symptom of AIDS.
Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Hodgkin's lymphoma may present initially as painless lymph node enlargement, especially of the neck and above the collar bone.
Mercury Toxicity (Amalgam Illness)
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck have been associated with known mercury toxicity.  Other sites reported include in front of the ear, under the jaw, and on the back of the neck.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
The most common symptom of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin.