Español
ABOUT US | CONTACT | VOLUNTEER
MISSION & MINISTRY
Find a Physician
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Lymphatic system
Lymphatic system


Neck lump
Neck lump


Definition:

A neck lump is any lump, bump, or swelling in the neck.



Alternative Names:

Lump in the neck



Considerations:

There are many causes of lumps in the neck. The most frequently seen lumps or swellings are enlarged lymph nodes . These can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, cancer (malignancy ), or other rare causes.

Enlargement of the salivary glands under the jaw may be caused by infection or cancer. Lumps in the muscles of the neck -- almost always in the front of the neck -- are caused by injury or torticollis . Lumps in the skin or just below the skin are often caused by cysts , including sebaceous cysts .

The thyroid gland may also produce a lump, multiple lumps, or swelling in the neck as a result of thyroid disease or cancer. Most cancers of the thyroid gland are extremely slow-growing and often curable by surgery, even if they have been present for several years.

All neck lumps in children and adults should be checked immediately. In children, most neck lumps are caused by treatable infections. However, treatment should start quickly to prevent complications or the spread of infection.

As adults age, the likelihood of the lump being a cancer increases, particularly for people who smoke or drink significant amounts of alcohol. Fortunately, most lumps in adults are not cancers.



Common Causes:

SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES IN THE NECK

SALIVARY GLAND ENLARGEMENT
  • Infection
  • Mumps
  • Salivary gland tumor
  • Stone in salivary duct


Home Care:

Consult your health care provider to have the cause of the neck lump treated.



Call your health care provider if:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have an abnormal neck swelling, or lumps in your neck.



What to expect at your health care provider's office:

The health care provider will take your medical history and do a physical examination.

Medical history questions may include:

  • Is it a hard lump?
  • Is it a relatively soft, pliable, bag-like (cystic) mass?
  • Is it a painless bag-like (cystic) mass?
  • Is the entire neck swollen?
  • Where is the lump located?
  • Has it been growing bigger? Over how many months?
  • What other symptoms are present?
  • Is there a rash ?
  • Do you have difficulty breathing ?

If you are diagnosed with a thyroid goiter, you may need medication or surgery to remove it. If the health care provider suspects a thyroid nodule , the following may help in diagnosis and treatment:

If the lump is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be necessary. If the cause is a noncancerous mass or cyst, you may need surgery to remove it.



References:

Pfaff JA, Moore GP. Otolaryngology. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2006:chap 71.

McGuirt WF. Differential diagnosis of neck masses. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al., eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2005:chap 112.




Review Date: 2/22/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


About Us



Emanuel Cancer Centers 2013 Annual Report
Joint Notice of Privacy Practices
Accreditation & Quality Measures
Board of Directors
CEO's Message
Community Crisis Information
Maps & Directions
Mission & Ministry
News & Publications
Volunteer

Care & Services



Emanuel Physician Finder

Employees & Physicians



e-MC Physician Portal
Web Mail
Employment Services
Physician Verification
Living in Turlock
Contact Us

Emanuel Medical Center
825 Delbon Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-4200
Contact Us
© 2014 Emanuel Medical Center, Inc. All rights reserved
Home   |   Site Map   |   Joint Notice of Privacy Practices