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Neck Lumps

What are Neck Lumps?

A neck lump is a swelling or bump-like structure that develops on the neck. The lump may arise from the skin or the structures underneath the skin. Neck lumps are a common condition as the skin of the neck is frequently in contact with hair products, sweat, and clothing. Most neck lumps are not harmful; however, sometimes they may be a sign of serious conditions such as cancer.

Causes of Neck Lumps

Causes of neck lumps include:

  • Skin problems
  • Infections causing lymph glands to swell
  • Salivary gland problems
  • Thyroid gland problems
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Swelling of a blood vessel 
  • Tumors
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections

Concerning Signs and Symptoms of Neck Lumps

Concerning signs and symptoms of neck lumps that should be investigated include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain in the ear
  • Hoarse voice
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Phlegm or blood in the saliva

Diagnosis of Neck Lumps

Your doctor will review your medical history and symptoms and based on this a physical examination of your throat, ear, and nose will be conducted. Diagnostic tests include:

Complete blood cell count (CBC): The doctor draws a small amount of your blood which is tested for signs of thyroid problems or other blood-related conditions.

  • Oto-rhino-laryngoscopy: During this procedure, a lighted instrument will be used to check your throat and ears, and nose, which may be sites of infection.
  • Ultrasound of the neck: This study uses sound waves to evaluate the nature of the neck lumps.
  • MRI of the head and neck: This study creates detailed images of the hard and soft tissues in your head and neck.

Treatment for Neck Lumps

The treatment for neck lumps varies depending on the cause of the lump. Lumps formed by bacterial infection may be treated with antibiotic medications. Cancer treatment methods like radiation, surgery, or chemotherapy may be used for the treatment of cancer-related lumps. Similarly, in cases when the neck lumps are caused by certain disorders like autoimmune diseases, treatment methods for the underlying condition may be used. For all types of neck lumps, an accurate diagnosis and early treatment increase the chances of a positive outcome for the patient.

Location & DirectionsENT Jacksonville

1370 13th Avenue South, Suite 115 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

  • American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Miller School of Medicine