A 22-year-old male asked:
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how fast does a malignant neck mass usually grow? can it stay the same size for months and still be cancer?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Ed Friedlander
44 years experience Pathology
Relax, Jane: At age 22, almost everyone has a few neck nodes. The worrisome ones are growing rapidly, and are either obviously abnormal, are stuck the surrounding stuff, or feel like tire-rubber or rock. They're not stable masses. At age 22, my submental node was the size of a shooter marble and I used it to put other folks at ease. Best wishes.
Answered on Dec 1, 2014
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
49 years experience Pathology
Variable rates: Tumors do grow at widely variable rates and a cancer stay the same size for a few months. It is important to get it checked out. A palpable neck may be suitable for evaluation by a fine needle aspirate. Please discuss the matter with your doctor.
Answered on Dec 1, 2014

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Not necessary : The increase in size is concerning but a biopsy or surgery to get tissue is needed to see what is causing this.
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