Lumps of various types and sizes can appear anywhere on your body, including around your neck area. Many are harmless and temporary.
Neck lumps can appear as soft swellings or a hard bump. They can be anything from a pea-sized lump that you can feel with your finger but can barely see, to a golf ball-sized lump that is clearly visible. They can be under or on your skin and may move when you touch them.
If you find a neck lump it should be investigated quickly by seeking immediate medical advice.
This is particularly important when the lump grows bigger, is painful or hard. If you have a neck lump that reappears after it was removed, this also requires urgent medical attention.
You may have other symptoms as well as a lump in your neck. This could include pain throughout your neck area, fever, a sore throat and a change in your voice, difficulties in swallowing or even issues with your breathing.
Lymph nodes (glands)
If you are fighting a bacterial or viral infection it can cause glands in your neck to become swollen, tender and even painful. This is because your lymph glands (also referred to as lymph nodes) are part of your immune system, and they are working hard! Much more rarely lymph gland swelling can be caused by a more worrying process such as cancer. It is therefore very important you seek medical attention promptly if you notice what you think is a lymph node swelling.
A lump on the front of your neck could be a goitre (or goiter). This is caused by a swollen thyroid gland. One of the characteristics of this condition is that the lump moves when you swallow.
A neck lump that appears to be connected to skin tissue could be a cyst or a fatty lump if it is just below the skin. These are nothing to worry about but can become infected, painful and unsightly. Thankfully they are very easily treated by removal.
Cancer can show up as lumps or swellings in the neck but they are thankfully rare. It is usually very straightforward to assess neck lumps to find out whether they are caused by cancer. Sometimes the cancer can spread from other areas. Mr Lakhani will be able to use the latest technology and tests to promptly identify any cancer and help start treatment for you as quickly as possible.
Various medical conditions can cause neck lumps, though some lumps are harmless and disappear naturally.
When dealing with neck lumps Mr Lakhani will take time to understand how your neck lump has affected you and the other symptoms you have. It is important that Mr Lakhani is able to learn about your general health and about any medication you may take.
Mr Lakhani works closely with the very best radiologists (doctors who are specialists scanning) in London who will be able to perform in depth scans very quickly to diagnose your neck lump.
One option to diagnose and treat neck lumps is a biopsy
This is when a small sample is extracted to test for cells and can distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous cells. An ultrasound scan can also help decide the best treatment for a neck lump.
Treatment options for neck lumps
Depending on the cause, treatment options for neck lumps include;
- Surgical removal
- Sometimes neck lumps require no treatment