It is quiet frightening experience when you notice a lump anywhere on your body. This abnormal mass can be present on extremities, back, abdomen and even on neck. Usually the bumpy mass on neck is benign (non cancerous). It can be caused due to infection or enlarged lymph node or a tumor of cancerous and non cancerous origin.
Lump in back of neck whether painful or without pain require medical attention. It is very important to know the type of lump, whether benign or cancerous. Treatment depends on the underlying cause. For example infective lump can be treated with medications or may need incision and drainage.
Causes Of Lump On Back Of Neck
- In majority of cases a lump on back of neck is caused due to an enlarged lymph node. There is chain of lymph nodes normally present in the neck. Actually they help to fight infection. If you are having bacterial infection on scalp, ears, throat, tonsils, your lymph nodes will become enlarged.
- A lump in back of neck can be due to an abscess. Often scalp infection can cause swelling in the nape of neck that is at the base of neck.
- Diseases such as herpes infection, lymphoma, infectious mononucleosis, AIDS, tuberculosis, Hodgkin and non Hodgkin disease all can cause lump in back of neck.
- Lipoma is a soft tumor growth. It is non cancerous tumor consisting fat cells. It is common at the back of neck.
- Diabetes is one of the causes for neck boils which develop as lumps, especially on the back of neck.
Symptoms Of Lump On Back Of Neck
Lump at the back of neck is caused due to many conditions. The symptoms may depend on the underlying cause.
- Neck lump is apparent and it can be small or large in size. It can be soft or hard depending on the underlying cause. There may be one or two lumps or number of lumps. Some swellings are painful and soft as in case of an abscess or a boil.
- Skin covering the lump can be red, inflamed and warm to touch in case of a boil or an abscess. The lump under the skin can be movable when pressed or it can be hard and fixed. The surface can be smooth or rough depending on the underlying cause producing the lump.
- Patient with a large growth on the back of neck finds difficulty in moving his neck sideways or forward and backward.
Treatment Options For Lump On Back Of Neck
The treatment of lump on the back of neck will depend on the underlying cause. It may also depend on the size of lump.
- If the growth is non cancerous and small, it may be possible to treat it with medication and home remedies. In case of a suspected cancerous lump, surgical removal of the lump is necessary. Depending on the stage of cancer, radiation or chemotherapy may be necessary.
- A boil or an abscess can be treated with antibiotics and hot water fomentation. A large boil or an abscess may need incision and drainage.
- A lipoma is a fatty non cancerous tumor. If it is small in size there is no need for any treatment. However, a large lipoma needs to be surgically removed as it can affect the movement of neck.