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Neck Masses

SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat

ENT Specialists & Sinus Specialists located in Long Beach, CA; Los Alamitos, CA; Huntington Beach, CA; Newport Beach, CA; and Torrance, CA

Neck masses are atypical growths in your neck. Because there are many potential reasons for neck masses, ranging from cancer to benign growths, it’s important to get help from a skilled ENT specialist. At SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat in Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Torrance, California, the experts treat pediatric and adult neck masses with compassion and skill. Call the office nearest you or book with online scheduling anytime.

Neck Masses Q & A

What are neck masses?

Neck masses are abnormal growths anywhere in your neck. They can occur at all ages. A neck mass can vary widely in size, from being so small that you can barely feel it to a significant large lump. 

Neck masses can be cancerous, but in many cases, they're benign. Both benign and cancerous neck masses require analysis and treatment. 

If a neck mass appears suddenly or changes in appearance, it’s especially vital that you contact SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat to schedule an exam as soon as possible.

What causes neck masses?

There are several possible reasons for neck masses. Enlarged lymph nodes are a common reason for neck masses in children, while viral or bacterial infections, mumps, and goiters are some possible causes of adult neck masses. Benign neck masses, including lipomas and cysts, are also fairly common in adults. 

Other causes of neck masses may include:

  • Hernia
  • Aneurysm
  • Thyroid nodule
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Salivary gland disorder
  • Trauma to the neck
  • Malignant growth (cancer)

Some children are born with benign neck masses, as well. In some cases, underlying diseases like arthritis or lupus can cause neck swelling that forms a lump or mass.

How do you diagnose neck masses?

The team at SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat performs a customized, comprehensive workup to analyze neck masses. Depending on your needs, the diagnostic process may include computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or ultrasound.

You may need a biopsy, a test that analyzes a small tissue sample from the neck mass. The most common kind of biopsy for neck masses is a fine-needle aspiration. If that doesn’t confirm the diagnosis, you’ll typically need a core or open biopsy with a larger tissue sample. 

How do you treat neck masses?

As with diagnosis, treatment at SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat is tailored for your needs. If your neck mass is caused by an infection, it typically goes away when the infection runs its course. You may need antibiotics or, in some cases, antiviral drugs. 

The treatment of cancerous neck masses depends on the type of cancer, its stage, and histology information from the biopsy. You may need surgical treatment, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination treatment approach. 

The team at SCENT - Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat puts your health and well-being first, and they’re dedicated to creating the best, personalized treatment approach for you. Call the office nearest you and speak with a friendly team member or use online scheduling anytime.