How does a neck bump develop?

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How does a neck bump develop?
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Neck lumps may feel like a lump, a swelling, or a bump around the neck area. Some lumps may be painful and others may not produce pain until you press on the area. Some lumps may remain the same size while others grow as time goes by. Most neck lumps tend to be harmless but there are some that can be malignant. Neck lumps that develop in children should be checked as soon as possible. They could signal infections that could spread or that could cause complications. You may be tempted to ignore a neck lump, but it is best to get it checked out by your physician. There are many reasons why neck lumps occur.

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Neck Lumps

Neck lumps may feel like a lump, a swelling, or a bump around the neck area. Some lumps may be painful and others may not produce pain until you press on the area. Some lumps may remain the same size while others grow as time goes by. Most neck lumps tend to be harmless but there are some that can be malignant. Neck lumps that develop in children should be checked as soon as possible. They could signal infections that could spread or that could cause complications. You may be tempted to ignore a neck lump, but it is best to get it checked out by your physician. There are many reasons why neck lumps occur.

Benign (Harmless) Growths

A fatty tumour that is located between the skin and your muscle is a lipoma. These small lumps can be moved easily when you apply pressure. It has a dough-like consistency and usually is painless. Some lipomas can remain for years. Most people notice them around middle age. This type of lump isn't cancer and treatment usually isn't necessary. A sebaceous cyst is another type of lump that affects the skin. This type of cyst drains cheese-like or oily substances. They can occur in the neck and often affect teens. They grow slowly, can be moved easily, and can be felt underneath the skin.

Salivary Glands

An inflammation of the salivary glands can also produce neck lumps. The salivary glands secrete saliva which you need to chew food properly and throughout the digestion process. An infection that affects the salivary glands can cause swelling to occur in the area in front of the ears, below the jaw, and on the floor area in the mouth. If a fever or pus it present, then antibiotics may be needed. Viral infections do not require treatment.

The Thyroid Gland

Thyroid diseases can also cause one lump or several of them to form in the neck. The thyroid is a part of the endocrine system that is responsible for producing and secreting thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones are essential for regulating metabolism. Cancers that originate in the thyroid grow slowly and can be cured with surgery even though the patient has had it for several years. The risk of thyroid cancer increases as you get older. Other risk factors include drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking. Another medical condition that can cause inflammation in the neck area is goitre. This condition causes an enlargement of the thyroid gland to occur. The most common cause of goitre is a deficiency in iodine in your diet.

Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Your lymphatic system includes lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, and thymus. Water, proteins, and other fluid that nourishes the body's tissues are returned to the bloodstream by 'lymph'. As it is circulated through the lymphatic system, lymph passes through lymph nodes. Your body contains hundreds of lymph nodes because they are a vital part of the immune system. These small masses of lymphatic tissue filter out bacteria and viruses. Many lumps in the neck are often enlarged lymph nodes. A lymph node can swell as it traps bacteria. The size of these enlarged nodes is generally 1cm by 1cm. If you apply pressure to the swollen lymph node, it may be painful and tender. Common causes for enlarged lymph nodes include sore throat, tonsillitis, dental infection, and bacterial infection. Once your body gets rid of the infection, these enlarged lymph nodes will return to normal size. Viral causes of enlarged lymph nodes include AIDS, HIV disease, infectious mononucleosis and the common cold.

Cancer and Lymph Nodes

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer and the third most common cancer in children. Lymphoma consists of 35 different subtypes of two similar cancers that strike the lymphatic system. Usually, the first sign of lymphoma is an enlarged swelling in the neck, under an arm, or in the groin. This swelling may be painful or painless. Cancerous lymph nodes often will feel large, rubbery and firm. Other symptoms include fever, weight loss, fatigue and night sweats. Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) is a cancer that affects white blood cells (lymphocyte). This type of cancer occurs in adolescence around the teen years to mid-thirties. It can also affect people in their mid to late 50s. HL tends to originate in the lymph nodes. HL can spread from one lymph node to others and may also spread to other organs outside of the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is the most common cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. It can begin in the lymph nodes but will spread as abnormal white blood cells invade other areas. Symptoms of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma are similar to Hodgkin Lymphoma. Leukemia is another type of cancer that can cause inflammation in the neck area. Leukaemia occurs when your bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells. These dysfunctional white blood cells prevent others from functioning properly.

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