Neck Lumps and Bumps - Treatment

Authored by Dr Mary Harding, 05 Jul 2017

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Hannah Gronow, 05 Jul 2017

It will depend on the findings on examination. Lumps thought to be normal reactive lymph nodes would not need further tests or referral unless they don't settle down. If the lump is thought to be worrying, you would be referred to a specialist as a matter of urgency for further tests. This would usually be an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist in the first instance. Advice from other specialists may be needed in certain conditions. For example salivary gland problems are usually treated by an oral surgeon, thyroid problems are usually managed by an endocrinologist, etc.

This depends completely on what the cause is. So there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Reactive lymph nodes do not need any treatment, as they settle once the condition causing them in the first place has settled. In some cases, that condition might need treating, however. (For example, an ear infection might need treating with antibiotics or ear drops in order for the infection to settle and the lymph node swelling to subside.)

In general, the condition causing the lump is treated. For example, an underactive thyroid gland would be treated with the replacement thyroid hormone, thyroxine. Stones in the salivary ducts can be removed, clearing the blockage and getting rid of the lump. Infections such as abscesses can be dealt with using antibiotics.

Some lumps might need an operation to remove them. For example, skin tumours, or large lipomas. (Small lipomas not causing any bother don't necessarily need removing.) Chemotherapy is usually used to treat blood-related cancers such as lymphomas and leukaemias.

Depending on the cause, your doctor or specialist will advise if treatment is needed, and on the best treatment for you.

Further reading and references

Hello everyone,20 year old female here. A few weeks ago I noticed one of my lymph nodes on my left side under my jaw was becoming enlarged, and it was painful. At first, it was easy to move around,...

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