Neck Lump

Q.I have had a hard knot in my neck for two and a half months. I began to worry because my aunt died of Hodgkin’s disease in her 20s, which is my age. I went to a doctor, and he said it was normal and probably left over from a viral infection, and that if it is still present in two months to come and get a biopsy. He did not bother to ask any other questions.

I became very frustrated and upset. Now I’m not sure what to do. It’s only on one side, and it’s immovable and firm. I looked up the symptoms and have experienced most of the ones for Stage I. I’m a medical student and I am sure something is wrong, but I refuse to see that doctor again.


A. As I always say, if you are not happy with Doctor Number 1, go to Doctor Number 2. I must admit I do not like the description of an immobile mass and I would recommend a biopsy.

Certainly lymph nodes may become fibrotic (hardened) after an infection, but they are usually mobile.

(I have one behind my ear, and when I was a med student I was convinced it was a sign of cancer! I also thought I had beriberi; don’t ask me why — med school does strange things to the mind!)

You should have a CBC (complete blood count) done, and you should get a second opinion. Even if you have to see a doctor not covered under your health plan, the investment will be well worth the peace of mind. Good luck — with finding out what is going on with the neck mass as well as with medical school.

Junkie needs his digi-music fix. Part 2

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Soy, You Say? Part 2

Why soy?

Actually, the association between vegetable protein and reduced risk for heart disease is not very new information. Researchers have known about this association for quite some time. Soy is actually a vegetable protein that has come to the attention of researchers recently. The study of the effects of soy and its relation to chronic disease risk, including cardiovascular disease, has dramatically increased since this field began to emerge a few years ago. Continue reading “Soy, You Say? Part 2”