Lump on Neck Under Ear

Question

I have a small grape sized lump on neck under ear that is painless. I was wondering whether this could be due to a swollen gland or something. I hope that is it. I hate to think that this could be some type of cancer. Although I don’t have any of the cancer symptoms that are associated with cancer of the neck, I am a bit worried. I have read that sometimes you don’t experience these symptoms. What do you think is the cause?

Answer

Having a lump in any part of the body can be alarming and scary. However, there are several reasons that are treatable when it comes to lumps on the neck. For example, yes, your lump on neck behind ear can be due to an infected lymph node. Lymph nodes are tiny organs in the body that are an extension of the immune system. The lymph nodes help fight bacteria and viruses that enter the body. When the lymph nodes fight bacteria they often become swollen and inflamed. Lymph nodes are easily found in the neck, groin, chest and abdomen. Usually when you experience a lump in your neck, it is usually accompanied with other symptoms such as a sore throat or an infected tooth.

Can it be another Benign Symptom?

There are several benign causes of a lump on neck behind ear. For example, a swollen hair follicle or another skin irritation can result in a cyst. A cyst is a harmless, painless growth on the skin. There are different types of cysts and the locations of the cysts depend on the type. They are filled with pus and often may result in inflammation. This can lead to an abscess. An abscess may require antibiotics.

What other Benign Causes are there?

Another reason for your lump on neck under ear can be due to an iodine deficiency. Goitres occur due to excessive thyroid hormones. Extra secretion of this hormone into the thyroid glands causes it to enlarge. When you are diagnosed with goitre, increase the salt intake in your diet. In addition, if medication is taken early it can prevent a huge lump from forming. The lump in neck under ear can also be due to a lipoma. Lipoma is mature fat deposits that develop in the neck, groin, armpit and torso. This is a benign tumour and most often does not require treatment. Swelling on the neck behind the ear can also be due to tonsillitis. However, it is always better to obtain medical advice to rule out any other complicated medical conditions.

What should I be afraid of?

The most worrisome diagnosis of a lump in neck under ear is cancer. The most common type of cancer in the neck is squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer arises in the cells that line the nose, throat and mouth. There are other various, less common cancers that include salivary gland cancer, sarcomas and lymphomas. These are all malignant cancers that require treatment as soon as possible in order to prevent spreading. Cancer spreads in three different ways. Firstly, it will spread from the primary site to other areas. It will spread through the lymphatic channels to the lymph nodes, and it will also spread through the blood vessels. The most common manner in which cancer can spread to the neck is through the lymph nodes. Treatment will depend on the severity and location of cancer.

A lump on neck under ear should always be medically diagnosed upon detection. Do not wait for it to go away and do not self medicate. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, and have that lump checked out. Early diagnosis will help alleviate any complications that may arise if an adverse medical condition such as cancer progresses to critical stage.