Lumps in the neck are an extremely common symptom and they are usually benign and quite harmless. The majority of neck lumps will be due to enlarged or swollen lymph nodes as a result of upper respiratory tract infections such as pharyngitis and tonsillitis, although lumps as a result of of swellings of the thyroid gland (goitre) are also common. Many of these will not require treatment but surgical removal can be advised for cosmetic reasons or in the case of a more serious disease.
Occasionally, the underlying cause of a neck lump will be head or neck cancer and it is therefore important for any neck lump to be assessed and its cause to be diagnosed as quickly as possible. In these excellent plain English articles, Mr Francis Vaz, Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, explains how neck lumps are investigated in a modern Rapid Access Neck Lump Clinic, what the various treatment options are and answers whether your neck lump is likely to be benign or something more serious.