What is a Neck Mass
Neck masses are also referred to as a lump in the neck. They range in size from very small to large and visible to the eye. The lump can originate in different places of the body, such as the skin, or it can come from tissues and organs in your neck. Since the neck is made up of many tissues and organs, a lump can originate in many different places. A lump can form in the lymph nodes, thyroid gland, neck muscles, the larynx, salivary glands, parathyroid glands, trachea, cervical vertebrae and various arteries and veins.
What Causes a Neck Mass?
Neck masses are most commonly caused by an enlarged lymph node. They can become enlarged for a number of reasons such as:
- Strep throat
- Sinus infection
- Ear infection
- Bacterial infections of the scalp
- Dental infection
Lymph nodes help your body fight of infections, so when you are sick they may become enlarged. Other serious causes of neck masses can include cancer, allergic reactions or disorders of the thyroid gland.
Symptoms of a Neck Mass
While some individuals might not experience other symptoms, many patients notice symptoms related to the condition causing the mass. For example, a neck mass caused by an infection of the lymph nodes might result in related symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain
- Trouble breathing
If a neck mass is caused by cancer, changes in the skin surrounding the area might also occur. They might also notice blood of phlegm in their saliva. It is important to talk with an ENT specialist about any other symptoms you’re experiencing, so they can make a proper diagnosis.
What Alabama Ear, Nose and Throat Can Do for You
During your examination, our Alabama ENT team will evaluate the mass to determine your level of pain, mass consistency, and underlying tissue. We will also take your age into account, as well as thoroughly inspect your scalp, ears, teeth, tongue, breasts, prostate, spleen, etc. to check for masses in other areas of your body. . A lighted instrument might be used to examine parts of the ears, nose, and throat that are not visible to the naked eye. If the mass is hard and anchored in place or you have lesions in your mouth, there may be cause for concern and additional treatment needed. In younger patients, we typically find that the neck masses are benign, however, in older patients it could be a sign of cancer. Treatment for neck masses will vary from patient to patient based on diagnosis. For a neck mass caused by a bacterial infection, an antibiotic can be prescribed for treatment. If cancer is detected, treatment might include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Early detection of the cause of a neck mass is important to receive successful treatment. It is important to get to the root causes of the mass as early as possible. If you have lesions in your mouth or a neck mass of concern, contact Alabama ENT today.
Schedule your Appointment in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
If you are worried about a lump in your neck, please contact Alabama Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Tuscaloosa, Alabama right away so we can determine the underlying cause of the neck mass. Tests may be performed such as X-rays, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Once the cause has been determined, we can then provide you with the best form of treatment. Visit our blog page for more information!