Is it just anxiety or should I push further?

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Is it just anxiety or should I push further?

Hi, I’ve not been diagnosed with cancer but am somewhat worried that something is going on and I guess am after a bit of advise tips on how to push for further investigation.

In early May of this year (2021) I noticed swelling at the base of my neck on the left side (slightly above collarbone), I couldn’t really feel any lumps but as I was already going to be seeing my doctor for a mental health review decided to bring it up (I’m Bipolar). I was referred for an ultrasound and the report came back as reactive lymph nodes (one is/was 3cm and 2 around .5cm). Doc said I had likely had a virus or something, even though I had been well, and that it should settle down but to go back if it was still swollen.


It’s now roughly 8 weeks later and while the swelling has gone down slightly, I can now feel a small hardish bump (not very big, feels smaller than my finger tip) as well as a small mass. I have also been getting aches in my shoulder/neck area and while I wouldn’t call it painful it is certainly uncomfortable. I have been back to my doctor and she doesn’t seem to be all that concerned but did order a blood test. The blood test showed I have an iron deficiency but we’re otherwise good, and while she has given me a referral for an ultrasound she has told me to wait a few more months before I get it.


To me, something isn’t feeling right and I made the big mistake of Googling my symptoms and scaring myself. Because of my Bipolar I know I have a tendency to overthink things. I’ve also not noticed any other symptoms, so I do know it is more likely to be nothing than something. But I just can’t shack that feeling that something is wrong.


So I guess what I am asking is, how can you tell if it is just anxiety or your body trying to tell you something? How do you push for further investigation without sounding like a hypochondriac?

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Re: Is it just anxiety or should I push further?

Hi Meg, maybe see a different GP for a second opinion.  Usually the ultra sound is pretty accurate at seeing if the lymph node is suspicious.  It’s totally normal to be worried about a lump and a second opinion should hopefully give you some reassurance. Best wishes 💜 LindaG 

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