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This is going to be a little lenghty so be prepared.

Just a little background: I'm a 21 year old male. I'm finishing school this spring;life's not too hecktic, as I have enough time to lift weights three or four days a week. I try to eat well, lots of brown rice, chicken breasts, fruit, all that good stuff. I try to keep my drinking too a minimum, but that to me is once a week......yeah not too good right? I also smoke marijuana chronically.

I'm going to desribe the symptoms that I noticed before the swollen glands-which is the topic at hand. I started to get neckaches around this time last year. They were almost daily, very lowgrade, and felt like a tension headache. I felt it predominently in the area at the back-right of my skull. I also had the sensation of sinus pressure. After about a month of this, I went to the University medical center. The physician saw me, and presribed me flonase. He said it was caused by allergies. I apparently have allergic shiners-more darkness under my eyes, all my life. I gave the meds a week, no change. I went back, saw a different doctor and she presribed me two more meds, singular and allegra. At this point I was on all three meds, still no change.

This continued for a few more months. It was now may, and I still had the same symptoms. The aching still continued. I started to feel a very small bump, very hard, directly located ontop of the mastoid process behind the left ear where the ache was. Also my throat began to hurt, very randomly and mildly-sort of scratchy, and a bit sore. I should also say that none of these symptoms have ever caused me to take pain meds. They are more annoying than anything.

I was in my homtown and I went to an urgent care to get another opinion because I felt like something just wasn't right. He apparently found the bump that I showed him, as well as another tinny lump (<2mm) behind the upper left ear. He said it could be a cyst-I go home. My parents suggested I go to my family doctor if it still bothered me. A month later I went to my family physician, and told him about the ache, he felt around my neck, behind my ear-found nothing. So he said it was muscular. Because of the headache, I had a CAT scan done on my sinuses and brain. They both came back normal.

Now fast foward to november-symptoms remain the same. My throat was still midly sore, but more frequently; mostly at night. As a kid I used to get a lot of sore throats, and was diagnosed with chronic cryptic tonsilitis. I went to an ENT specialist, told him my symptoms, he examined me and said it was my choice if I wanted to get them out. I chose to get them out. I had them taken out 5 weeks ago. It went pretty smooth. No bleeding, the doctor told me I healed a bit faster than average. He also checked the lump behind my right ear, and said it was either a lymph node or a muscular structure. He didn't seem to worried about it and told me if it get's larger he could remove it.

I am getting real tired of worrying about my health, and feeling like there is something wrong with me. I feel like the doctors should look into the matter more, something is obviosly not right if I have visible lymph nodes behind my ears. The largest, the one above my right mastoid, is at most the size of a pea. None of them are tender to the touch. They have slightly movable. I also have what feels like a node on the lower left portion of my neck. I don't know if that is new or if I just hadn't noticed it before. It has not been examined.

The bottom line is I seem to be getting all these new developments in my health. I still have no answers. No doctor has ordered a blood test. I do however donate blood plasma, and I am fairly certain they test your blood for infections. To be signed up to donate I had to recieve a full physical. Before I donated, while I had first been hooked up they took a large vile of my blood. Now whenever I donate I just get my finger pricked for protien levels. One of my friends got a call from them that he had hep-fale postitive-but the point is they check and notify you.

Today, my throat doesn't hurt anymore. It's still slightly sore when I yawn from stretching the surgical site. I am now getting the same early feeling I was getting on the right side, on the left. It's behind the ear also. It is not yet as large as the right node. It has been a year, and it seems like they have been swelling, extremely slowly. This would explain why they aren't tender to the touch. So what is this all indicative of? I feel like I am going crazy. Is this cancer? My grandmother has lymphoma. Could it be HIV? Maybe I was somehow given a false negative when donating plasma. This slow gradually swelling is annoying! I sometimes have neck or jaw stiffness. I am not having nightsweats, I am at a steady 210lbs at 6'3. I feel pretty drained during the day sometimes-yet in the summer I managed to work 12 hour construction shift and still workout at night. Is this all in my head? Should I worry and pursue it more? It surely can't be normal to have visible bumps behind your ears.

If you made it this far, thankyou!!

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Adamn86,
When you had your tonsillectomy, did the hospital pathology department biopsy the tissue for the presence of cancer? It is possible that you had a certain type of cancer growing inside your tonsillar crypts, called squamous cell carcinoma. This often is the result of an HPV infection that occurred many years ago, that ultimately became cancerous. If so, then the cancer may have spread to your lymph nodes.

Following are a couple of references that will give you more information. I’m not a doctor, but if any of this information relates to your symptoms, I’d have a doctor check it out.

HPV and Oral Cancer – Outstanding article summarizing what is currently known:
Psyrri A, DiMaio D. (2008) Human papillomavirus in cervical and head-and-neck cancer. Nature Clinical Practice Oncology 5:24-30
nature.com/ncponc/journal/v5/n1/pdf/ncponc0984.pdf

One helpful post regarding HPV-related Tonsil Cancer:
cancercompass.com/message-board/message/all,19066,0.htm

Best of health to you,
SeattleHiker
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I'm not sure if you've had this resolved for you or not...but I came across your post the other day when I was searching for answers in regards to my own swollen glands and ear pain. I'm studying dental hygiene and was actually in the process of preparing for an exam tomorrow when I found some info among my books (covering oral exams and lymph nodes). According to my profs sources signs of oral cancer are: soreness, lump, numbness, hoarseness, feeling as if something is caught in throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, ear pain, and difficulty moving jaw or tongue. Swollen lymph nodes indicating cancer will be painless when palpated. The main reason why I bring this up is because people who smoke regularly and drink have a MUCH HIGHER risk of getting oral cancer. Men are twice as likely as women, and it often goes undiagnosed because general practitioners often don't do oral examinations. I suggest you get your Dentist or your Doctor to do a thorough intra-oral exam for you. You're young, but this doesn't exclude you from being at risk, since you are an avid marijuana smoker and occasional drinker, (if you combine drinking and smoking at the same time this puts you at even greater risk). Hope this isn't too late to be of help...and hope the info isn't needed at all and that you're health is back to optimal! Cheers!
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I also just came across your question and hope you've gotten some more info on your problem. I'm not a doctor, but I wanted to add that if you are smoking on a regular basis, chemicals and/or additives, pesticides, etc. can be getting into you with the smoke. Since there's no regulation on that kind of thing, there's no telling exactly what you're taking into your system. It's also something physicians aren't probably going to be taking into account. The effect on your throat, and for that matter anything nearby, could range from a buildup of a toxin in the tissues, to something more serious like a couple others have mentioned. It's just something to consider, and though it may be unpleasant to stop for awhile, it would be worth it if you either ruled that possibility out, or found it to be the cause. Good luck.
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I donate plasma regularly, also. I've never experienced fainting or nausea, the side effects you hear about most often, but I have had 2 things consistently occur when I'm donating plasma.

One is that my jaw hurts - I found a few different websites when researching this, where people like yourself had some jaw pain. I asked my doctor about this and they didn't see the connection. But there's no question in my mind that there IS a connection - there has to be, or there wouldn't be people who donate plasma, having this side effect.

Here's the other thing that happens to me, and that is swollen glands.

I am healthy, and this doesn't happen to me on any kind of regular basis. But after I donate plasma, I get both the jaw pain and my glands swell up. I received a full physical and everything comes out o.k. on my tests. There's something to this, though, no question about it, some connection between those two things and plasma donation.

When I don't donate, it doesn't happen. Period.

As for your other symptoms, I don't know if there's a connection between those and your plasma donating. I would research those things if I were you.
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This happens to me also, not so much the sore jaw but i have a swolen lump appear half way up my neck on the left hand side behinh my ear 3 days after i donate plasma(this has been three times so far)





i am trying to find out how many people this happens to and what it is....
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wow. I have a swollen gland a little below my left ear too, it has been there for almost 5 years - plus my saliva glands have recently swollen as well. I am also a marijuana smoker and have been for maybe 8yrs or so. I don't drink or do any other drugs. I have been to multiple doctors who assure me that it is nothing to worry about - but I have no told any of them that I smoke pot everyday.
I also have a small gland that appeared on my breast and it looks like a 3rd nipple and a lump in my left breast. Got that checked and my doctor said I had a lot of breast tissue, and that it was either a swollen gland or a lump of breast tissue. He said that lump and the one that looks like a nipple were unrelated. He said it was "probably fine" but is sending me for second opinion anyway.
No history of cancer in my family whatsoever although they just found small pea sized lump on my mother's breast which she is getting removed a.s.a.p but we will only know after if its cancerous or not.
I have dark circles and no energy - my neck gets sore too.
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God Bless you and keep trying to get a doctor that cares! I have been going through the same thing-only with a disease of the eye. It is so frustrating and you feel like you're on a roller coaster! Please let us know how you are doing now. Hang in there!
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I have been having the sensation of tightness in my neck for five months. The area that feels swollen moves around from the base of my neck to below my chin to mid left side. No two days are the same. I have had a ct scan of neck, ultra sound of tyhroid, barrium swallow test with follow-thru, mri of my neck and an endoscopy. The only thing that shows at all is some arthritis in my neck at c 3-c4. I have seen 7 doctors now, including a physiatrist. Family doctor suggest taking an anti-depressant for anxiety. I tell him I am not depressed, just scared (anxious) when it hurts and I feel like I might not be able to breathe. So far no one has a diagnosis let alone a solution. An internist suggested Aleve 2 times a day and ice on my neck. The Aleve seems to be helping. Everybody else says, "rare symptoms", "no idea what might be wrong, etc." I am trying to limit my anxiety but.......any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

 

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hey adamn...look im happy i say this...cuz im scared to man...i feel really unhealthy and i have all the same symptoms as u...i am 19 years old and i do smoke cigarette and drink and am also a chronic weed smoker...ive gone to 3 different hospitals and i do not have health insurance...and they have all told me that i was imagining things...they said they noticed the swelling of my left side of my neck and behind my ear but they brushed it off as something that would go away and told me that it was all in my head...but one doctor said she had no idea what it was and wanted me to get an MRI...but again...i dont have health insurance...im 19 and have already buried myself in medical debt over the last year trying to find out whats wrong with me...so i cannot get the MRI.. i see u posted thios a year ago...but please man..if u know anythin now could u please let me know...im so frustrated with feeling like my health is deteriorating at such a young age and EVERYONE TELLS ME IM IN MY HEAD....please touch base with me bro
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hey adamn...look im happy i say this...cuz im scared to man...i feel really unhealthy and i have all the same symptoms as u...i am 19 years old and i do smoke cigarette and drink and am also a chronic weed smoker...ive gone to 3 different hospitals and i do not have health insurance...and they have all told me that i was imagining things...they said they noticed the swelling of my left side of my neck and behind my ear but they brushed it off as something that would go away and told me that it was all in my head...but one doctor said she had no idea what it was and wanted me to get an MRI...but again...i dont have health insurance...im 19 and have already buried myself in medical debt over the last year trying to find out whats wrong with me...so i cannot get the MRI.. i see u posted thios a year ago...but please man..if u know anythin now could u please let me know...im so frustrated with feeling like my health is deteriorating at such a young age and EVERYONE TELLS ME IM IN MY HEAD....please touch base with me
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that does make sense...i was an intravaneous drug user for about 2 months...my symptoms started a couple months after quitting using dope....i still smoke weed and drink..but have quit smoking...but i have all the same symptoms as the other guy...i personally beleive it could be some kind of needle injury...and ive mentioned that too the doctors and they assure me its not...but i cant think why else this is happening...im only 19 i should be healthy
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Like others, I came across this while looking into my own symptoms. I am a 31-year-old female, and have been a daily marijuana user for many years. My theory is honestly that it has something to do with the marijuana.

I have all the same symptoms you describe, Adam86. I maintain a healthy weight, eat organic/healthy as much as possible, do super intense hot yoga 4-5 days a week, and am generally in very good health. I have been through many of the same type of doctor visits...all of them have been inconclusive. I'll discover a lymph node that feels abnormal, either because it is raised or in a strange location on my head/neck (the last one was right in front of my tragus and I didn't even know I had nodes there). I'll see a doctor, and they will palpate the node and practically laugh at me and tell me that it's so small and barely swollen that they wouldn't think twice about it. The thing is, I know it's not a normal feeling node for MY BODY. Most recently, I seem to just have a nearly constant dull pain in the lymph nodes in my neck, but they aren't really even swollen. Today I have pain in the nodes to the right of my throat and under my chin, no idea why. I have also had pretty constant inner ear pain for a while as well. Like you say, not so painful that I need medication, but noticeable and not what I would consider normal for my body. I had my tonsils out when I was five...so that is something else we have in common. I would say I have been experiencing all of these symptoms periodically for about the past year or so.

Oral/head/neck cancer has always been my biggest fear about the symptoms I experience, particularly because I had/have HPV that created malignant cells on my cervix (that eventually resolved themselves and have been normal since) in 2003. I also worry about lymphoma, because most of my symptoms seem to be lymph node-related.

Now, on to why I think the marijuana has something to do with all of this: my symptoms seem to be exacerbated when I am high. I consume about 50/50 smoking to eating. When I smoke, I use a vaproizer, to minimize carcinogens as much as possible. What I have found lately is that after I consume medibles, the gland pain in my neck is increased even moreso than after I smoke. Something about the effect of marijuana on my body is causing my symptoms to be exacerbated. Could this be a potential side effect of THC? And since THC stays in your body for a while after it is consumed, could it be that that is why we experience the pain on a somewhat chronic level? Have you taken a serious break from marijuana consumption to see if the symptoms cleared up? I haven't.....

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I'm hoping this post finds you because I have the identical symptoms, I have a feeling it may be the beginning stage of lock jaw. Have you ever smoked out of aluminum foil? I'm 44 and have been smoking approximately since 09 due three back surgeries leaving me in chronic pain. I never smoked weed until I was 39 , so when it was suggested I try medical Marijuana I had no bowl and neither did this person but said I could make bowl from foil so I did that for a long time but eventually stopped and bought a bowl but my current bowl is cracked where the little center opening so I've been using a little piece of foil in the bowl. I'll never smoke from foil again a few I should of listened to the person who told me I could get lock jaw from smoking from foil. I never even researched it-now fortunately after college I know to research. My fear is you mentioned HIV and kite sweats. Since a bad pneumonia on my left lung this past October 2013 I've had nite sweats. Not all the time but frequently enough I had to stop wearing under Armour at bedtime. I just had blood work and it's normal. I have a sinus infection it seems right now, and I know me, personally if I smoke weed if I'm sick ( smoke maybe half small bowl nightly) I get worse. Always. I will never smoke if I sick and never smoke of one has dental work. Your neck symptoms are so close to mine the lymph nodes, wow. When I read this I couldn't believe it. Well hope your doing better.
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Donated plasma twice and have exactly same symptoms two days after. Most definetly related. Maybe underlying problem is revealed why immune system is compromised and weakened during donation. I'm not doing it again. Pretty clear to me and now I'm concerned
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