Neck masses are lumps that can be found across the neck. They can vary in shape and size, and may or may not be visible. If you begin to feel a neck mass, it’s important to have it examined by a trained provider. At SFENTA, our providers will help diagnose and treat neck masses and can offer personalized treatment for the underlying condition.

Doctor checking on a patient

What to Expect at Your Appointment

After asking about your symptoms and lifestyle, your SFENTA doctor will carefully examine your head, neck, ears, and throat, looking for related symptoms. Depending on the findings, the following tests may be ordered:

  • Chest and sinus x-rays
  • Neck ultrasound
  • MRI of the head and neck
  • CBC (complete blood count) test

After the tests have figured out the cause of the masses, treatment may begin. In many cases, antibiotics can help treat infections that cause neck masses. In the case of cancer or other more severe cases, surgery may be required.

Learn More About Treatments

What are Neck Masses?

At SFENTA, we’ve found that the vast majority of neck masses and lumps are not due to malignancy or another serious condition — they are mostly enlarged lymph nodes. When you’re sick or fighting an infection, these nodes swell to protect your body and attack harmful cells.

Upon finding a lump or mass, many people immediately fear cancer. Although a neck lump can be cancerous, most are fortunately benign.

With that said, as adults age the chances of a lump being cancerous increase. Your risk further increases of this risk with a history of prolonged tobacco and alcohol use, HPV infection, and other lifestyle choices.

Cancers that can show up as a lump in the neck include:

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Breast cancer

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Neck Mass Symptoms

The primary symptom of a neck mass is, of course, the neck mass itself. Masses can vary in shape and may grow larger. Some neck masses may be visible, while others are not. This is why it’s essential to pay close attention to any other symptoms. 

Neck masses can cause symptoms including fever and unexpected weight loss. These masses can also lead to other issues of the throat, such as difficulty or pain when swallowing and vocal changes. Neck masses can also cause patients to experience ear pain and hearing difficulty.

With 15 convenient locations across the greater Houston area, we’re never far away.

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About South Florida ENT Associates

SFENTA has over 30 locations across South Florida to make access to high-quality ENT as easy as possible. We provide each patient with:

Patient-Centered Care

You will receive one-on-one care from our board-certified providers along with tailor-made treatment plans.

Continuity of Care

Our comprehensive care model ensures that all of your symptoms are addressed, and you’re on your way to lasting relief.

A Network of Highly Trained Physicians

Our network includes more than 50 providers trained in the full spectrum of ENT specialties, subspecialties, and surgeries.

The Security of a Community Staple

Our staff has been helping patients across South Florida achieve relief for over 30 years.

Common Reasons for a Lump in the Neck

    • Swollen lymph nodes due to infection
    • Viruses like HIV, herpes, rubella, mono, and pharyngitis
    • Thyroid disorders and diseases
    • Bacterial infections like strep throat, tonsillitis, and tuberculosis
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Certain cancers
    • Injury

    More rarely, your neck lump can be a sign of an allergic reaction or a salivary duct stone.

    Neck Masses FAQ

    Is a neck mass a sign of cancer?

    Not necessarily. In many cases, neck masses are not cancerous and are caused by infections. It’s vital to have neck masses evaluated by an experienced provider to determine the underlying cause.

    With 37 convenient locations across the South Florida area, we’re never far away.

    Find your ENT Request Appointment
    Contact us media
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