Lump in Throat
If you are feeling a lump in throat, even if they are painless and does not cause any discomfort when swallowing, you should obtain medical advice. There are several reasons for lumps in the throat. Some are harmless and can be treated simply with proper medication. Some, however, may be cancerous and will require complex and surgical treatment. Therefore, if you experience any lumps or bumps in the throat, you should not hesitate to consult with your doctor.
Causes for the Lumps in the Throat
There are several causes for throat lumps. You should be aware of some of them in order to identify your problem. This will help you to understand the severity of the problem, as well as, be prepared for what’s to come.
- Enlarged Lymph Nodes – The lymph nodes are a part of the immune system. They help you to fight infections and other foreign substances. Lymph nodes are all over your body and you can feel them with your fingers in your armpit, groin, behind the ears, neck, under the jaw and the back of the head. Lymph nodes most often, enlarge due to infection, an abscess, inflammation or cancer. The most common out of these possibilities is infection. Lymph nodes in the neck region enlarge due to ear aches, infected tooth, tonsillitis, mumps, strep throat etc.
- Sebaceous Cysts – Sebaceous cysts form under the skin and are closed sacs that are filled with an oily substance. They are usually caused by skin trauma or damaged or swollen hair follicles. These are less painful and are moveable when touched. However, sometimes sebaceous cysts can become inflamed and will cause great pain.
- Thyroid Disease – The thyroid gland is located below the larynx in front of the neck. The thyroid gland controls metabolism. The hormone in the thyroid gland is produced when another hormone is released in the pituitary gland. An imbalance in the hormones in the thyroid gland can cause throat lumps. Throat lumps are associated with thyroid diseases such as goiters, Grave’s disease and thyroid cancer.
- Enlargement of the Salivary Gland – Lump in throat is also caused by the enlargement of the salivary glands. Salivary glands may enlarge due to infection, tumour or stones in the salivary ducts. This causes inadequate amounts or total blockage of saliva drained into the mouth and can result in difficulty in swallowing and speaking.
- Cancer – One of the most dreaded conditions that many associate any lumps to is cancer. Throat cancer is very common among people who smoke and consume excessive amounts of alcohol. However, it is not uncommon among others either. Cancer of the larynx usually begins slowly and travels to the lymph nodes in the neck. The lump in the throat is often the first symptom of throat cancer, and sometimes the only method of diagnosing the presence of a throat cancer. Throat lumps are associated with leukaemia, mouth cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as well.
Features of the lump in throat depend on the cause. These lumps may be single or multiple, painful or painless, soft or hard, big or small depending on the cause. No age group or social status is immune to lumps in the throat. Therefore, any sign of a lump in the neck should be shown to a doctor. Throat lumps in children are usually caused by infections. However, it is necessary to obtain medical advice. The risk of throat cancer increases with age. Therefore, adults, and senior citizens should be more careful as to obtain medical attention upon identifying such symptoms.
Treatment of the lump in the throat will depend on the cause. For example, if the lump in the throat is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Lump in the throat caused by cancer may require radiation therapy or chemotherapy. It is essential to continue treatment without disruption in order for the healing process to be successful.