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
- 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.