Neck Lumps

What’s this new lump on my neck, doc?

The head & neck region contains a variety of important structures and organs: skin, muscle, fat, bone, cartilage, blood vessels, lymph nodes, thyroid gland, salivary gland, voice box and windpipe, etc. The neck supports the head and sends commands down to the body. Some surgeons call the neck “Tiger Country” because of the complex interrelationships between critical structures. We prefer to call it beautiful plains. A lump can arise out of any or many of these structures. A lump can be benign, but it can also be malignant. A malignant lump can arise primarily from the neck itself, or quite often, arise from the head or elsewhere in the body to metastasise to the neck. A neck lump may be the first indication that there is cancer elsewhere in the body. A neck lump in an adult is assessed very differently to a neck lump in children. There are indolent infections, vascular malformation, lymphoma or rare cancer that can arise in a child’s neck. There are benign or malignant tumours that can arise in the nose or throat of an adult that spreads to the neck. The thyroid (endocrine) gland or parotid (salivary) gland could generate two very different lists of pathologies. 

The assessment of neck lumps is complex and the ENT surgeon’s role is to make a diagnosis early and once a diagnosis is made, collaboration with other specialists are done to offer the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. Dr Levi can progress your care at St.Vincent’s Hospital, The Royal Children’s Hospital or through the private system depending on the level of care required.

Getting an expert assessment and opinion is always a good first step. Please contact us for an appointment. Dr Levi is also available to provide educational talks on this topic.