Cysts in Neck- Cancerous Vs Other Causes
Q: Hi, I am turning 33 next month. I have just been told that I have a couple of cysts in my throat after an Ultra sound. I am very concerned, and I am scheduled to see a specialist in 2 weeks. I was told by my doctor’s office that I shouldn’t worry, but how can I stop worrying about something like this. I originally received the Ultrasound after months of noticing a clicking or popping in my throat, whenever I swallow.
I received 2 scopes as well as CT Scan, which showed nothing at all. I was told it may be stress. No way in hell it’s stress. So I went to another doctor who arranged for an Ultrasonogram and boom there it is- I have 2 cysts in my throat. I am concerned this maybe be cancer. I am also pissed off that neither a CT Scan could see this nor could a doctor doing 2 manual scopes.
The exact diagnosis of the nature of the cyst would be possible only after your doctor takes a biopsy (FNAC) from the cyst. Before that, nothing can be said for sure!
There are many causes for a cystic swelling in the neck. In your age group, neoplastic (cancerous) reason is very rare. This is commoner in older population.
How Does a Cancerous Swelling Behave?
- A cancerous swelling would grow in size with time.
- It would tend to get attached (fixed) to the underlying structures. So, you will not be able to move it with your fingers.
- It is hard to touch and not very smooth, though exceptions may be there.
A cystic cancerous swelling may arise from any structure in the neck- the thyroid gland, lymph nodes, mucosa. The tissue from which it has arisen and its nature can be ascertained only after a FNAC.
Common Causes of Cystic Swelling in Young People
A sebaceous gland may get blocked to give a cystic lump. This is common in youth. Read more about them here.
An Enlarged Lymphatic Tissue
The throat is rich in lymphatic tissues. These may get enlarged secondary to some infection in the ear, nose or throat. Even prolonged allergies (sneezing or cough) may lead to enlarged glands in the throat.
Read more about infective swellings in the neck.
A swelling from the thyroid gland can also present as a cystic mass.
As you go for your follow up check up, further investigations would be performed. Taking a biopsy would be necessary, after which the exact diagnosis would be possible.