ZocdocAnswersWill I need a thyroid evaluation if I locate a lump on my neck?

Question

Will I need a thyroid evaluation if I locate a lump on my neck?

I have a lump on the side/back of my neck. Could this be a cancer?

Answer

Before we get into the answer to this question, a little more information would be very helpful. Where exactly on your neck is this lump? Is it painful to touch? Does it easily movable or does it feel firm and stuck down to the soft tissue? Have you ever had anything like this before? Have you had any other recent symptoms such as night sweats, weight loss, or lumps anywhere else on the body? Have you had any recent upper respiratory tract infections or other illnesses? These are important questions to consider and discuss with your primary care doctor who will be the best person to evaluate this mass, evaluate your medical history, presenting symptoms and clinical exam and decide upon the appropriate work up. This may include lab tests or imaging studies and he or she may refer you to a specialist depending on what is found. There are a variety of possibilities regarding this lump that you have noticed and a detailed examination and evaluation of this lump is necessary before any final diagnosis can be made. In general, this could be something benign such as a lymph node that may have appeared after an upper respiratory infection or it could be something more concerning, your PCP will be best able to decide this.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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