Lump Check After Prostate Surgery

Once you've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I find most men tend to change their outlook regarding health awareness. These days I am more likely to get something checked vs playing macho man. If I don’t, my wife offers addition encouragement.

Finding a lump

Not long ago I woke up one AM and not able to turn my head. The evening and day before I was fine. As I began to feel my neck, I discovered a very large lump that appeared overnight. My wife and I were scheduled to take a trip out of the country the following week, and given the timing WE decided it was time for me to visit my GP.

Upon my arrival, my doctor checked the mysterious lump. The initial review suggested it was a soft lump (apparently a key finding) and not concerning. That finding did not last long. After looking down my throat and combined with the fact that I was going to be out of the country for 2 weeks, he suggested for safety sake that I might want visit with an oncologist for a fine needle biopsy.

A sinking feeling

The word biopsy takes on a whole new meaning and understanding after you've had prostate cancer. While he didn't say much, I had the sinking feeling he thought the lump in my neck was suspicious.

Three days later I find myself meeting a new best friend who looks down my throat and says, "Let's do a biopsy to see what's going on." Before I know it, I have a needle going into my neck.

Two days later he calls and says nothing showed up on the biopsy. At the same time, he is highly suspicious based on everything he is looking at. He then asks me to come in for a large needle biopsy before I leave for vacation. No tension here … just another not so normal day.

Worried sick

After returning home and being worried sick for 2 weeks, I am told that the large needle biopsy did not display cancers cells, but I also learn the doctor is still deeply concerned and says he suspects cancer. He asks me what I am doing in the next 2 days and suggests I undergo a surgical biopsy at the hospital, where they can do an in-depth physical examination of the growth.

Following the one-hour procedure, the oncologist meets with my wife and I and announces that my issue was an infected lymph node. A prescription of antibiotics finally reduces the mysterious lump, and I'm back in good shape.

Being proactive

So, what's the moral of the story? Any new lump you have in your body should be checked, and if nothing else, my prostate cancer made me more aware of the need to be proactive.

In this case it proved to be a false alarm. That said, it could have just as easily been a cancerous tumor. If nothing else, my prostate cancer does offer some benefits. Today I am  more acutely aware of the need to take care of myself and now fully realize as men - we are not indestructible no matter how hard we try.

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