Neck lumps are a relatively ordinary condition that many people will directly or through someone close encounter at some point in their lives and they are in most cases harmless. Just like any other change in health of an individual, a neck lump may be a symptom of an underlying disease that hasn’t been diagnosed yet. In case a lump lasts for longer than a couple of weeks, the individual is highly advised to consult with a medical professional as there is a strong possibility that there is an inflammation somewhere is the body. A medical examiner will look into the lymph nodes’ flexibility and movement, or whether those are stiff or extensive, as well as whether they are mobile or stable. In addition, the doctor is also interested in whether the lump moves when a person swallows. The professional is finally concerned with how deeply rooted the lump is into the skin. After visually inspecting the lump, the doctor will need to take a swab from inside the mouth, preferably from the cheeks or the very bottom of the mouth, and send the sample to the lab for further analyses. In case a patient is a child, the doctor will look into the complete medical history in order to make any conclusions as to why the lump showed up in the first place.
Possible Types of Neck Lumps
There are many various types of lumps that can appear on the surface of the neck and many of those are cysts with different characteristics. A kind of cyst called a thyroglossal cyst is often the reason for a neck lump and this particular type is over flown with fluid and as a result can cause pain and discomfort. It also moves when a person swallows. Another type of cyst that can be responsible for creating a lump is a dermoid cyst. This type of cyst contains different sorts of glands and it usually only occurs in babies. Aside from cysts, there are also glands that can get enlarged and appear as lumps in the neck. One such gland is a thyroid gland, which just like the thyroglossal cyst moves when an individual swallows. On the other hand, if the lump does not move when a person swallows, it is usually a sign of a more serious problem, such as an adverse type of cyst and even a tumor. If an individual notices a lump on the neck that does not go away after a few weeks and the lump is not moving when swallowing, seeking medical attention is mandatory to diagnose any possible severe illnesses as early as possible. Some of the cysts that can have serious adverse consequences on a person’s health are relatively easily removed by a surgical intervention as soon as they are discovered. Finally, if a person notices a segregated kind of lump, it may be indicative of a tumor that has been metastasizing from various parts of the body such as the head, chest, abdomen, or the neck itself.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
As part of the lymphatic system of the human body, the lymph nodes can be found in various locations such as the groin, the neck, as well as the armpits. One of the main functions of the lymph nodes is to eliminate cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, and other adverse agents from our system, as well as physically to contain healthy nutrients in the form of liquid. As with many other organs, if the lymph nodes are healthy and functioning properly people do not feel their presence. However, if they get enlarged and start to cause physical discomfort then individuals need to recognize such an occurrence as a sign that there has been change in the way the lymph nodes are working.
Causes for Lymph Nodes Enlargement
There are many reasons as to why the lymph glands can become swollen. Some are milder, such as an inflammation, while others are more severe, such as cancer. On the other hand, it can often be the case that a person sustained an injury to the neck area, resulting in the lymph nodes to swell up. One of the ways to find out whether a lymph node enlargement is due to a benign reason is to focus on the amount of pain they are producing. The more pain a person feels, the more benign the cause of an enlargement is likely to be. Consequently, the lesser the amount of pain, or no pain at all, is usually indicative of a tumor. Some of the reasons as to why the lymph nodes might be swollen are mouth sores, ear infections, colds, flu, and the like. Skin problems are also known to cause enlarged lymph nodes.
Treatment for Swollen Lymph Nodes
As expected, once a person with swollen lymph nodes contacts a doctor for assistance, the doctor will look for the underlying cause of the condition. If the reason is something mild, such as an injury to the neck, the doctor will treat it for a possible infection and pain and dismiss the patient. If, however, the reason is more complicated, further tests will need to be done and the underlying changing process in the person’s health treated with adequate care.