Neck Mass

If you notice a sudden mass appearing in your neck, it may be a sign of a more serious condition, or it may just be a swollen lymph node. Fortunately, your ENT specialist is an expert at treating neck masses.

Minor illnesses or infections which can cause a neck mass

  • A dental infection
     
  • A cold or the flu
     
  • Strep throat
     
  • An ear infection

The neck mass should resolve when the infection or illness goes away.

When to see your ENT specialist for a neck mass

You should see your ENT specialist if:

  • The neck mass is still there after 2 to 3 weeks
     
  • The neck mass is growing larger and is becoming painful
     
  • You experience a change in your voice
     
  • You have difficulty or pain when swallowing
     
  • You have pain in your neck or throat
     
  • You have ear pain on the same side as the neck mass
     
  • You have difficulty when breathing
     
  • You are bleeding from your nose or mouth

How an ENT specialist will diagnose a neck mass

Your ENT specialist may recommend lab tests and imaging studies including a CT scan, MRI, or PET scan.

A biopsy of tissue from the neck mass may also be necessary to establish a definitive diagnosis. There are three types of biopsy procedures used for a neck mass. They include:

  • A fine needle biopsy–a small needle is inserted into the neck mass and a small sample of tissue is removed.
     
  • A core biopsy–a larger needle is inserted into the neck mass and a larger sample of tissue is removed.
     
  • An open biopsy–a sample of neck mass tissue or the entire neck mass is removed during a surgical procedure under anesthesia.

How an ENT specialist will treat a neck mass

If the neck mass is non-cancerous, no additional treatment may be needed.

If the neck mass is precancerous, or cancerous, treatment may include surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three treatments.

To learn more about neck mass treatment and how your ENT specialist can treat a neck mass, call the ENT doctors at Century Ear, Nose & Throat, Head & Neck Surgery. You can reach them in any of their offices in Orland Park, Lemont, or Oak Lawn, IL, by calling (708) 460-0007, so call now.