Cyst in Neck
Q: My dad has cysts in the neck. He has got the thyroid test and FNAC, but still neck swelling is there. After removal of some fluids from neck on FNAC, the report came normal, saying he doesn’t have any type of cancer. Still another doctor have doubts and suggested me to go for FNAC again. My question is why the swelling comes up again and again.
Usually, cystic swellings of the neck subside slowly on their own. If a neck swelling occurs again and again, there has to be a baseline cause for it.
Any chronic infection in the head and neck area can cause neck glands to enlarge. The glands may remain enlarged till the infection persists. This may happen in cases of long standing infections anywhere in the ear, nose, throat, skin, scalp, back of neck or sinuses.
People having frequent sore throat or sinus problems may have persistent swellings in the neck.
Some Infections Which May Give Neck Swellings
- Peritonsillar abscess
- Strep throat
- Viral pharyngitis
- Allergic pharyngitis
Any lingering allergic condition such as runny nose, seasonal cough or itchiness may be associated with swelled lymph nodes in the neck
Cancers or malignancy of any structure in the neck may give a neck swelling. Such swelling may arise from any structure in the neck like thyroid gland or salivary gland etc.
Typically, such swellings would have the following features:
- They are usually hard to touch.
- They are immobile, somewhat fixed to the structures beneath.
- Malignant swellings grow in size and may give symptoms as difficulty in swallowing food or difficulty in breathing. This happens as they press upon the food pipe and the wind pipe in the neck.
Enlarged Thyroid Gland
Such a swelling may be purely cystic (fluid filled), solid or mixed in consistency.
Symptoms of thyroid disorder are present in such cases. They include-
- Fast heart rate.
- Disturbed sleep
- Mood fluctuations
- Change in weight (Loss or gain)
- Feeling tired very often
Since the chances of malignancy are higher in older population, malignancy needs to be ruled out first. This is done by FNAC.
May be the FNAC done earlier had some technical error, and so your doctor wants to repeat it. FNAC is the most important investigation that can lead us towards diagnosing the swelling.
If it turns out to be clear, chances of some chronic infection in the area needs to be ruled out next.