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How to tell if a neck lump is bad

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Lumps on the neck always cause concern to those who suffer from them. Although the vast majority of the diseases that cause it are benign pictures that are self-limited in time, there is also the possibility of facing something more complicated such as hematological or tumor diseases. For this reason, it is essential to identify the causes of the lump in the neck to rule them out and follow the indicated recommendations.

If you want to know how to know if a lump in the neck is nasty, what are the causes of nodes in the neck, and what to do if you have one, continue reading this article from FastlyHeal.

Why can a lump appear on the neck?

Lumps in the neck can appear from different infectious, hematological, tumor, or congenital malformations. Among the causes of why a bump in the neck can occur and, therefore, helpful to know if a lump in the neck is nasty are:

Cervical node enlargement

The enlargement of these nodes may be due to bacterial or viral infections of the head and neck. Some examples are:

  • Pharyngitis.
  • Otitis.
  • Pediculosis.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Abscesses

Congenital cysts

Congenital cysts are other causes that rule out why a lump may appear in the neck. They are abnormal formations caused before birth, such as the thyroglossal duct cyst.


This is one of the causes of how to tell if a lump in the neck is wrong, as there are benign and malignant tumors. Among the reasons why it can appear in the neck, the tumors that arise can be:

  • Vascular
  • Nervous
  • From the thyroid, parathyroid, or salivary glands.
  • Hematological.

Another cause of the appearance of a lump in the neck is the stones of the salivary glands.

Characteristics to know if the lump in the neck is bad

The reasons why a lump may appear in the neck, as we have seen, are the most varied, and so are its symptoms. It is essential to consider which of its manifestations should attract our attention, that is, those that can indicate that something is not working well and thus know if a lump in the neck is nasty.

These characteristics are general since each case is particular. The only way to know if the lump you present in the neck is wrong is by consulting a professional who can review the bump and request the studies he deems appropriate.

Here are the characteristics to pay attention to in a lump on the neck:

  • If the lump has been present for more than 4-5 weeks, it is probably not a reactive node caused by an infection. It can be a more complicated infection or a more stringent process itself.
  • It is not a superficial infection when the neck lump does not hurt.
  • It may be that the mass hurts when drinking alcohol. It is a characteristic that can make you think of Hodgkin’s disease.
  • If, when trying to move the lump, it does not move and is instead stuck down, we can think that it is a more complicated disease.
  • If the lump is in the middle and front of the neck and moves when swallowing, it may have to do with a thyroid problem, but it is difficult to tell if it is benign or malignant from the external features alone.
  • Suppose you also experience marked weight loss (without dieting), decay, lack of strength, persistent bleeding or bruising, and difficulty swallowing. In that case, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible.

As we have mentioned, these characteristics do not ensure that the lump is malignant, but they should make you alert and visit your doctor because they can become part of a more complicated health picture.

What to do in case of a lump in the neck

If you have a lump in your neck that worries you, you must see a professional so they can find out what is happening.

In addition to paying attention to the characteristics of the lump itself, think about whether you have other symptoms that perhaps you have not paid as much attention to. You can explain all the data as thoroughly as possible when you get to the medical consultation.

Once in consultation, your doctor will ask you a series of questions. He will check both your neck and other body areas to verify that you do not have other nodes or lumps and look for the possible cause through a complete examination.

It is likely that after examining you, the specialist will order medical tests: blood tests, neck ultrasound, X-ray, or more complex studies such as CT scan or MRI, depending on what they want to look for.

Recommendations if you lump the neck

In addition to going to the doctor to identify the leading cause of the appearance of the lump and thus know if the neck lump is terrible or not, we also recommend the following indications:

  • Please do not touch the lump on your neck too much, as it can increase inflammation.
  • Try to start healthy habits. It is never too late. Take care of your diet: raw fruits and vegetables can be a great ally if you want to help your body solve any health problem.
  • It would help if you avoided those things that do not make any sound, such as alcohol, tobacco, and processed foods (full of colorings, preservatives, flavorings, and something that your body cannot deal with).
  • Try to move. A sedentary lifestyle is an ally of chronic diseases. If you start to exercise, you will give your body better circulation, more courage, and the possibility of facing all kinds of processes.
  • Do not self-medicate since you may be delaying the diagnosis of your problem and taking drugs that can have adverse effects.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to know if a lump in the neck is wrong, we recommend that you enter our Immune system category.

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