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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Lymphoma

Question: Small bump on back of neck, hairline area

 ucdcows - Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:52 pm

I'm 23 and I just discovered a bump on the back of my neck just above the hairline on my right side. After discovering that I also found a couple of movalbe small bumps on the side of my neck on the right. I was wondering if any one has any ideas what they could be? Could the small bumps be lymph nodes? I have a slight tilt of my head to the left probably due to habit and was wondering if that is why the lymph nodes are more palpable on teh right than on the left? i haven't had any known infection but have had a small cold, some allergies, and an ingrown hair on the left side of my neck. I'm a bit scared since my friends father just died a few months ago of lymphoma and the first thing that he found that led them to the diagnosis was a bump. Any ideas?
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:02 am

User avatar Hello ucdcows,
Thank you for using The Doctor's Lounge.
First, the only way for me to be able to confirm that these bumps are lymph nodes I would need to examine them personally which is obviously not possible.
However, assuming that they are lymph nodes given your description of their location let me give you a few thoughts.

For lymph node enlargement to be significant most authors agree that the size should be greater than 1 cm (Libman H, 1987).

Regarding, the position of the lymph node enlargement you would be describing the occipital lymph node which are located at the junction between the back of the head and neck. They are rarely malignant, often related to scalp and outer ear infections, exanthematous diseases, and toxoplasmosis.

Given the limitations of the internet in clinical evaluation, you are advised to seek medical attention. In your case the most probable outcome of your evaluation would be to put you under observation for 3 to 4 weeks and then re-evaluate these nodes. The doctor may also recommend a course of antibiotics based on his evaluation.


Libman H. Generalized lymphadenopathy. J Gen Intern Med 1987;2:48-58.

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