I noticed a couple of lumps in my neck, just below and in front of my left ear, in March. Made an appointment with the GP, who felt the lumps, asked some questions, felt my scalp etc and then said he was pretty certain they were innocent but to return in a fortnight although if I became worried, or the lumps grew, to come back earlier. Over the next week, the lumps started increasing in size so I got an appointment the following week and saw another GP, who did more feeling of the lumps and scalp, examined my throat and ears and then said she was pretty certain they were innocent but to be on the safe side, she would refer me to a specialist and said not to worry because she had to refer me as a potential head and neck cancer but she didn't think that's what I had.
Three days later, I saw the specialist who carried out more examinations, asked more questions and said he was 90% certain these were benign, although I fell well outside the normal demographic for (benign) tumours like this. He arranged an appointment for me for four weeks later but said that if the lumps disappeared, then no need for any action and that I would only be asked to go back earlier if they found anything nasty. Core biopsy the next day then I got called back 10 days early, which is when the warning bells started ringing. And when we saw the consultant again, they started clanging loudly as he confirmed that, contrary to all medical expectations and demography, I did indeed have cancer in my neck.
Cue lots of questions, a nasal probe being snaked down my nostril and throat, MRI scan, CT scan, PET CT scan and another biopsy until my diagnosis is confirmed and treatment agreed by the Multi-Disciplinary Team at Guildford Hospital. First line of treatment - surgery to remove the tumours. More about the operation later - thought this was enough for now!