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Alternative namesLump in the neck
DefinitionA neck lump is any lump, bump, or swelling in the neck.
ConsiderationsThere are many causes of lumps in the neck. The most frequently seen lumps or swellings are enlarged lymph nodes , which can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, malignancy , and other rare causes.
Enlargement of the submandibular salivary glands (under the jaw) may result from infection or malignancy. Lumps in the muscles of the neck, almost always in the front of the neck and involving the sternocleidomastoid muscle , result from injury or torticollis . Lumps in the skin or just below the skin are often caused by cysts such as sebaceous cysts .
The thyroid gland may also produce a lump, multiple lumps, or swelling in the neck as a result of thyroid disease or malignancy. Most cancers of the thyroid gland are extremely slow growing and often curable by surgery even if they have been present for several years.
Common CausesCERVICAL (NECK) LYMPH NODE ENLARGEMENT
Home CareConsult your health care provider for treatment of the cause of the neck lump.
Call your health care provider if
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have prolonged and abnormal neck swelling or the presence of lumps.
The health care provider will obtain your medical history and will perform a physical examination .
Medical history questions documenting your neck lump in detail may include the following:
If a thyroid goiter is diagnosed, medical management or surgical removal may be indicated. If a thyroid nodule is suspected, a radioactive thyroid scan , CT scan of the head or neck, or thyroid biopsy may assist in diagnosis and treatment.
If the lump is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be necessary. If the cause is a benign mass or cyst, surgical removal may be necessary.
Update Date: 5/4/2003Bridget Martell, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT