Neck Mass Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA

Otolaryngologists & Allergy Specialists located in McKees Rocks, Seven Fields, Sewickley, & Vanport Township, PA

The appearance of a neck mass may signal a swollen lymph node or be a red flag for head and neck cancers. The team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA has years of experience providing comprehensive care, including conservative medical treatments, biopsies, and advanced head and neck surgery to remove cancerous masses. If you discover a neck mass, schedule an appointment by calling the office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, or use the online booking feature today.

Neck Mass Q & A

What is a neck mass?

A neck mass refers to any abnormal lump in your neck. The lump can be any size, appear in people of all ages, and may or may not cause pain.

In most cases, a neck mass is benign (noncancerous). However, a neck lump is also one of the first signs of head and neck cancer, including cancers of the thyroid gland, large salivary glands, throat, mouth, and voice box.

What causes a neck mass?

A wide range of conditions can cause a neck mass, including:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlarged thyroid gland
  • Enlarged salivary glands
  • Thyroglossal duct cyst
  • Branchial cleft cyst
  • Lipomas
  • Benign tumor
  • Thyroid mass or nodule
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Skin cysts (sebaceous and dermoid cysts)
  • Ear, sinus, throat, and dental infections

Cancerous neck masses may also develop due to skin cancer.

What symptoms accompany a neck mass?

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms, which are red flags alerting you to a potentially serious problem:

  • Hoarseness and voice changes
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Trouble hearing
  • Earaches 
  • Neck or throat pain
  • Nasal congestion on one side
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding from your nose
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sore that doesn’t heal
  • Jaw pain
  • Fatigue

If your neck mass lasts longer than two weeks, you notice the mass is getting larger, or you have a mass plus other symptoms, it’s time to see the team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA for an examination.

How are neck masses treated?

If a physical exam reveals your neck mass is an infection or treatable condition, you may not need additional testing. Otherwise, your physician may perform diagnostic imaging, endoscopy, or fine needle aspiration biopsy.

During endoscopy, they guide a narrow scope down your throat and use a camera in the device to examine the tissues. Your physician can also do a biopsy or remove tissues.

If you need a fine-needle aspiration biopsy, your physician uses a needle to withdraw a sample of tissue from the mass. Then it goes to a lab to determine if the mass contains cancerous cells.

The surgeons may recommend removal of a malignant (cancerous) or suspicious mass of the head or neck. They may also remove a benign mass when it’s large enough to interfere with breathing and swallowing or causes uncomfortable symptoms.

If you have had a neck mass, it is important to have it examined or investigated. Call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA or book an appointment online today.