Cyst and Mass Removal in Tampa and Spring Hill, FL
Generally referred to as lumps, a number of irregular masses may proliferate in the head and neck area of the human body. For complex reasons, these tumors and irregular growths may be cancerous. At Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists, our board-certified Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgeons are leading experts in cyst and mass removal in the Tampa, Spring Hill and surrounding areas in Florida.
What Causes Head and Neck Masses?
Global health experts have determined numerous direct causes of masses, growths, tumors and cysts of the head and neck:
- Benign lesions: Benign growths are irregular growths that are determined to be non-cancerous. As such, benign lesions do not spread to neighboring body tissue. Despite the connotation of this designation, many sufferers sustain damage to their nerves in the head and neck area from aggressive benign tumors. Some irregular non-cancerous growths, such as cysts, thyroid masses, salivary gland tumorous growths, vascular masses and other non-metastasizing irregular growths can exert substantial damage to the area and must be surgically removed.
- Lymph node damage: The enlargement of the lymph nodes is often the first sign of internal destruction caused by powerful infections. Irregular tumors and growths can trigger the body’s immune system to react, overloading and swelling the nearby lymph nodes in the head and neck area to create non-metastasizing growths and masses.
- Cancer: Cancerous growths are classified by an insistent colonization of neighboring body tissue.
Two Different Kinds of Cancerous Growths on the Head and Neck
Malignant and metastasizing cancerous tumors and growths are classified into two categories: primary or secondary.
- Primary – Primary cancerous tumors and growths first develop in the head or neck area, laying their roots inside the human throat, salivary gland, larynx, thyroid and the brain itself. The majority of primary tumors spread into and via the lymphatic nodes in the neck. As nearly 90% of neck and head cancerous growths and tumors are directly caused by tobacco and alcohol abuse, these cancers are regrettably infinitely preventable. Statistics have clearly demonstrated the connection between drinking and smoking with all cancers of the mouth and throat. The third most common vector for primary cancers is radiation exposure in patients. Sometimes caused by past therapeutic administrations, industrial contamination from nuclear facilities and other victims of excessive exposure to nuclear radiation are at an elevated risk of developing thyroid cancer. Medical experts concur that patients who sustained a significant radiological incident should be screened yearly.
- Secondary – Second-generation tumors that have colonized new tissue for the primary tumors which originated in areas of the body lower than the neck. Most secondary tumors are offshoots from the original cancerous growths in the lung, the kidney, breast or melanoma growths on the skin. Rarely, secondary cancers can originate in the nasal and then sinus passages and then spread throughout the brain via nerves embedded in the skull.
Symptoms Associated with Head and Neck Masses
We highly recommend that you consult with a physician if you experience any or all of the following symptoms:
- Lumps, bumps or small growths on the scalp, neck or head
- Lumps, bumps or small irregular growths that persist more than two weeks. Of special concern are lumps that are not associated with a cold, flu or other pulmonary infection.
- Persistent hoarseness or roughening of the voice
- Irregular growth inside the mouth
- Fresh blood in the saliva, sputum or phlegm
- Difficulty or discomfort while swallowing solids
- Irregular growths or tumorous entities growing on the skin – all growing or expanding irregular lumps on the skin need to be examined by a qualified dermatologist. Microscopic examinations can reveal whether skin growths are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell cancer or malignant melanoma forms of cancer. The two most common starting points for squamous cell skin cancers are the lower lip and ear.
- Chronic Ear Pain – persistent ear pain, especially when swallowing solids, may be a clear symptom of an irregular growth or tumor in the throat
Diagnosing Head and Neck Masses
Physicians and trained medical analysts can examine tumors and other head and neck masses, and determine the cause of their origin by studying and carefully analyzing their location, size and consistency over time. Other more proactive analytical measures are available, including:
- MRI: the powerful technology of the full-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging system can scan the affected area to create a detailed map of formerly hidden small tumors affecting bones, other small tumors, and irregular growths on the brain stem.
- CT Scan: the trusted historic breakthrough technology of computed tomography precisely directs a series of X-rays to penetrate the affected area of the human body. In some cases, a special dye may be injected into the afflicted area in order to help improve the resolution of images assembled during scans.
- PET Scan: using positron emission tomography technology, interior scans can be assembled to help grade or rank tumors as well as to separate dead cell tissue from cancerous cells. PET scans usually involve the injection of the examined individual with a harmless radioactive tracer.
- SPECT Scan: similar to a PET scan, internal images of the body can be taken performing real-time data return analysis on Single Photo Emission Tomography beams.
- Biopsy: a sample of suspect tissue is physically removed and prepared for microscopic examination and interpreted along an established series of best practices to determine whether the cells in question are malignant
Treating Head and Neck Masses
Treatments and therapies for head and neck irregular growths, masses and tumors are determined by the original cause. Some skin lesions and other aggressive growths can be removed by a simple surgical excision. More aggressive head and neck cancers can be treated by a spectrum of radiological therapies, surgery, or some combination thereof, depending on the determined nature of the neck or head growth.
Scientific studies have overwhelmingly proven that early detection of cancerous cysts, tumors and growths provides the highest chance of successful treatment. Other growths may be denoted as benign but still cause substantial discomfort and social anxiety. If you have any of the symptoms associated with head and neck masses, contact our office in Tampa or Spring Hill to schedule a consultation with an ENT specialist.