Neck swellings/lumps

Understanding Lumps on the Neck

Neck lumps are extremely common and in the vast majority of cases are benign. They can be found anywhere on the next and may be soft or hard, asymptomatic or painful and tender to the touch.

Neck lumps have many possible causes, so a diagnosis will be made on both the features of the neck lump itself and any associated symptoms.

  • They can present in any age group and may be due to a number of causes, including skin infections, lymphadenopathy, benign tumours, primary malignant tumours, thyroid lumps, salivary gland lumps, congenital and developmental lumps, carotid body tumours and aneurysms, and trauma.
  • Children are most likely to have a benign cause for neck lump such as reactive cervical lymphadenopathy.
  • Single neck lumps are often due to a congenital cause or inflammation.
  • Malignancy is rare, with lymphomas, thyroid cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas being most likely. The likelihood of malignancy increases with age, particularly in adults over the age of 40 years. Smoking and alcohol are high risk factors for cancer.

Mr. Dhanasekar would examine the neck lumps and do a full ENT examination including flexible laryngoscopy in clinic as part of assessment. He would request investigations such as Ultrasound scan with or without a needle biopsy test which is called as FNAC [Fine Needle aspiration Cytology], CT or MRI scan depending on the presentation. Once diagnosis is made with all the necessary investigations he would initiate treatment accordingly. This might be just reassurance and regular monitoring or could be surgery and further treatment.

Neck Lumps Swelling