Lump on Back of Neck

If you feel a lump on back of neck, the first thing to do is schedule a doctor’s appointment. While some lumps are harmless, it is common to associate abnormal growths with cancer. As a result, you need to rule this risk out by getting the lump on neck diagnosed by a specialist doctor. The doctor will perform some routine examinations and question you on family history, symptoms, location of the lump, and any other lumps etc. If no clear prognosis can be made based on these, he or she may recommend a CT scan of the area in which the lump has manifested. If the lump is due to a thyroid problem, a thyroid biopsy or a radio active thyroid scan might be needed as well. Minor bumps can be ignored if harmless or treated with antibiotics or surgery as per need. The method of treatment, however, will depend on the cause of the lump in back of neck.

Can Swollen Lymph Nodes be causing the Lumps Due to Bacteria?

There are various reasons that can cause a lump behind your back neck and most of them are treatable easily. Therefore, you should not overly worry yourself upon observing such a growth. However, it should also not be ignored. One of the main causes for a lump in the back of the neck is due to swollen lymph nodes. There are more than 600 lymph nodes throughout the body. Lymph nodes are essential and are part of the body’s immune system. The most common areas of lymph node swelling are the neck, groin, under the chin and armpit. Most often, infectious diseases such as colds, strep throat, mumps, mononucleosis etc can lead to lymph node swelling. When the lymph nodes are affected, it can enlarge and this is the lump you will feel as a result, in the back of the neck. Common bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotic medication. Bacterial infections that cause a lump in back of neck include

  • Bacterial pharyngitis
  • Strep throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Cat scratch disease
  • Peritonsillar abscess

What Viral Infections Cause Neck Lumps?

Lump on back of neck can be caused by a viral infection too. One of the most serious causes for a lump in the back of the neck is AIDS. In addition to this, lump in the back of the neck can also be caused by HIV disease, rubella, infectious mononucleosis and the herpes virus. These medical conditions are serious and, therefore, if you discover a lump on neck obtaining professional medical advice is recommended. Some of these diseases can be avoided by preventive vaccinations and safe precautions.

Can it be Cancer?

Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the immune system. If you experience a lump in the back of your neck, this could be due to the growing number of cancer cells that are accumulating in the lymph nodes. This forms a tumour in the back of the neck that bulges out. Lymphomas can form anywhere in the body. For example, lymphoma in the brain can cause severe headaches while lymphoma in the stomach can cause abdominal pain. Blood tests and x-rays, as well as, biopsies can diagnose lymphoma. Once diagnosed, chemotherapy or radiation will be prescribed to stop the spread of cancer. The most important factor in successful treatment of such conditions is early detection of the growth.

The chances of the lump on back of neck being a cancer increases with age. If you are an avid smoker and drinker the chances of this lump being a cancer will be more than for a person who does not smoke or drink. Therefore, if you notice irregular shaped lumps that are more than 1cm in size and do not decrease in size over two or three weeks, consult your doctor immediately. Timely attention and treatment can mean the difference between life and death.