What are the possible causes of a lump in my child's neck? The most common cause for a lump in the neck is an inflamed lymph node. However, other causes may include an abscess, growth of blood or lymph vessels, or multiple types of cysts, including Dermoid cysts, Branchial Cleft cysts, Thyroglossal duct cysts, and, very rarely, malignancy.
How is a mass evaluated? Your ENT doctor will need to evaluate your child to help determine the cause. Often an ultrasound, CT, or MRI scan of the neck will be needed. Sometimes, removing a few cells with a needle and syringe and sending them off to the lab (known as a fine needle aspiration, or FNA) will give us an idea. Occasionally an open biopsy may be warranted. A mass in the neck should never be ignored.
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