Tumours / lumps around the head and neck can arise and be due to several factors. In most cases those arising from / within the skin are non-cancerous (benign), but on occasion such growths may be / become cancerous (malignant). Approximately 80% of neck lumps in adults are cancerous (malignant), while 20% are non-cancerous (benign).
The opposite is true in children, where 80% of lumps are benign and less than 20% are malignant. Cancerous lumps or tumours tend to be painless and enlarge progressively. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can result in the successful treatment of such conditions.
Most lumps are assessed with ‘triple assessment’ of clinical examination, imaging which may be an ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI scan and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNA) to determine the type of cells causing the lump.