• Bookmark this Page
  • Print this Page

Neck Masses

Neck Mass and Neck Lump Symptoms and Causes

Neck masses are any neck lump, bump or swelling in the neck. They are an extremely common condition among children.

Neck Mass, Neck Lump Symptoms:

Most neck masses cause no symptoms and are of greater concern to parents than to the children who have them. However, infected lymph nodes or cysts are tender and painful.

Neck Mass, Neck Lump Causes:

The most common cause of a neck lump is one or more enlarged lymph nodes resulting from:

  • Infection of the lymph node (called lymphadenitis)
  • Infection nearby (i.e., in the throat)
  • General infection of the body (such as mononucleosis, tuberculosis, or HIV)

Other causes of neck masses and neck lumps are:

  • Cyst (a fluid-filled sac) that has been present from birth but is noticed only after it has become inflamed or infected
  • Neck injury
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands
  • Noncancerous (benign) tumors
  • Rarely, lymphoma, a thyroid tumor, or another cancerous (malignant) tumor is the cause of a neck mass or neck lump.