Q:

What is this lump in my neck?

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Quick Answer

A lump in the neck can signal several medical conditions, such as enlarged lymph nodes due to a bacterial or viral infection, acne, autoimmune disease, thyroid disorder, tonsillitis, sebaceous cysts, allergies or cancer, according to Healthline. Doctors can diagnose neck lumps according to the existence of accompanying symptoms.

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Full Answer

Most lumps that develop in the neck are benign, and doctors can treat them with medications, antibiotics or surgery, notes Healthline. They can occur freely within the neck tissue or invade an existing structure, such as the thyroid gland, arteries, neck muscles, trachea, lymph nodes, vertebrae, salivary glands or larynx. Swollen lymph nodes are the most likely cause of neck lumps and occur as part of the immune system's response to various infections. Examples include the common cold, dental abscesses, herpes, strep throat, mumps, human papilloma virus and tuberculosis.

In severe cases, lumps in the neck can represent isolated malignant tumors or signal the spread of several forms of cancer to the lymph nodes, explains Healthline. Throat, mouth, tongue, skin, lung and breast cancer may lead to lumps in the neck. Leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are additional sources of neck lumps. It is important to have growths in the neck examined and diagnosed by a doctor to rule out the presence of serious diseases and determine a proper course of treatment, if necessary.

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