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Head and Neck Cancer

Tongue Bump and enlarged area on collarbone

05/27/2011

Question:

About 2 months ago I suddenly developed a bump on the right middle side of my tongue. It was irritable for a day or two then never went away. It is 1/4 in. and raised but no color change. A recent enlargement of my colorbone on the right side next to the sternum concerns me. It feels like 1-1 1/2 inches at that joint. I read that a bump on the tongue can indicate head/neck cancer sometimes. I am wondering if these can be related.

Answer:

Any lump or bump that is present for 2 weeks or more should be evaluated by a medical professional. Although likely to be benign your tongue lesion needs to be evaluated. The collarbone mass is unlikely related to the tongue issue. It seems to be an inflammation of the sterno-clavicular joint. Having said that, tongue cancers can spread to the lymph nodes of the neck and present as a mass in the neck. Not knowing what the tongue lesion is, no one can say if they are related or not, but it is possible. You need to be evaluated by a medical professionnel.

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Response by:

Cheryl  Koliha-Brandt, MSN, RN, CNS, CORLN Cheryl Koliha-Brandt, MSN, RN, CNS, CORLN
Clinical Nurse Specialist and Instructor of
Head and Neck Surgery and Oncology 
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
Case Western Reserve University

Pierre  Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS Pierre Lavertu, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University