Dr David Lowinger MBBS FRACS Ear Nose & Throat Specialist Surgeon
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Children

Airway or Neck Lumps

Upper airway obstruction is very common in children and one of the causes is the neck lumps. Neck lump is lump, bump, or swelling in the neck and these lumps may be tumors, benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In children, lumps in the neck are commonly caused due to enlarged lymph nodes. Benign lumps in the neck are often caused by abscesses, cysts or sinuses, dermoid cyst, lymph nodes, hemangioma, and lymphangioma.

Some of the types of neck lumps are branchial remnants, cystic hygroma, and sternomastoid tumors.

The regions of the neck where lumps are commonly found are in the salivary glands (under jaw), thyroid gland (in neck), and muscles of the neck. The most common symptom of the neck lumps are enlarged lymph nodes. The enlarged lymph nodes are caused due to bacterial infection, viral infections, or cancer (malignancy). In children, infections is the common cause for neck lumps. These nodes are metastatic, which are usually caused from other cancers of the lip, skin, or face.

Some of the disease conditions that lead to enlarged lymph nodes in the neck are tonsillitis, childhood leukemia, nonHodgkin's lymphoma, allergic reactions, food allergies, and mumps.

Your doctor will diagnose the condition by physical examination. If your doctor suspects a nodule or a cyst, then CT scan of the head and neck and biopsy will be required to confirm the presence and type of tumors to provide the necessary treatment. Treatment should be started immediately to prevent the spread of infection to the other parts.

After the diagnosis, your doctor will decide on which treatment is best for your child. If the lump is caused due to bacterial infection then antibiotics will be given. Amoxicillin is usually prescribed which is given at lower doses for 10 to 12 days. During this period if the symptoms are subsided, do not stop the course of antibiotics without your doctor's consent.

If the lump is caused due to cancer, then surgery may be required to remove the cancerous growth.

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Royal Australasian College of Surgeons The Australian Society Of Otolaryngology Head And Neck Surgery Australian New Zealand Society of Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology (ANZSPO) The University of New South Wales The University of Sydney Harvard Medical School

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