Lump under Chin

Question

When I was inspecting my face and eyebrows in the mirror, I noticed that there is a lump under my chin. It is movable and is sometimes painful. I have been sick for the last couple of days, and I’m thinking my lymph glands have become infected. But I am worried about this lump under chin. I have not heard of anyone getting cancer on the chin. So, this is probably something else. But I have no idea what it could be. Please help me identify what might be causing this lump under my chin.

Answer

The most common reason for a lump under the chin is due to an enlarged lymph node. Lymph nodes are located all over your body and are a vital part of the immune system. When one or two of these lymph nodes are enlarged, we refer to it as swollen glands. Swollen lymph nodes are often found in the armpit, neck, under the jaw and chin and behind the ears. Lymph nodes often swell due to infection, inflammatory diseases, abscesses and cancer. The most common cause of swollen lymph nodes is infection. For example, if you have a sore throat or have an infected tooth, you will also develop lymph node lumps or bump under chin, behind the ear and or on any one side of the neck. Treatment may depend on the severity of the pain associated with the enlarged lymph node. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medication or pain relievers as needed.

What about the Diseases of the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck. The metabolism is controlled by hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland. There are four types of thyroid disease. These are hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and benign thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. Most often, a lump under chin is characterized by hyperthyroidism. This is when too much thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland. A bump under chin can also be due to goitre. This is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. There are two types of goitre. These are endemic goitre and sporadic goitre. Goitre due to iodine deficiency is known as endemic goitre. Although the cause of endemic goitre is unknown, it is associated with the consumption of certain medications. Treatment of the goitre will depend on the type of goitre.

Can it be a Cyst?

Cysts form within any tissue in the body. A lump under jaw or chin can be due to a cyst. This includes sebaceous cysts. Cysts form due to infection, clogging of the sebaceous glands, blocked hair follicles etc. Cysts that are connected to the lymph glands are filled with a white fluid. There are several types of cysts. The most common are epidermoid or sebaceous cysts. Milia are also smaller versions of epidermoid cysts. Most often, cysts do not require treatment. A warm, moist cloth placed over the affected area may assist in draining and healing the cyst. You will know the cyst is infected when a foul smelling, thick, yellow substance is draining from the cyst, or if there is redness and swelling around the cyst. Good hygiene and the use of antibacterial soaps when washing will help prevent cysts from forming. Medical attention is required if the cyst grows rapidly, ruptures, or becomes painful. Inflamed cysts are treated with steroid medications and antibiotics.

Do you think I have cancer?

Even though you say that you have not heard of cancer in the chin, Lump under chin can be due to cancer. This can be neck cancer, thyroid cancer or any other type that manifest with lumps in chin area. However, it is advised to not panic until you have obtained a proper diagnosis from a doctor.

There are several other causes for a lump under jaw or chin and yours is most likely to be one related to lymph nodes since you said you have been sick during past couple of days. However, do not ignore a lump under the chin or anywhere in the body. Timely medical attention will help stop the spread of cancer and treat other less severe diseases without any complications.