Lumps can come to the neck out of various sources. Some of these may be serious while others are not worth worrying about. This article explores the major causes of lumps on the right side of the neck:
Lump On Right Side of Neck- Causes
Congenital lumps usually arise from errors in the development of the neck during the fetal stage.
When vertebrates are at their earliest phaseof formation, fish, humans, and most other animals look pretty much the same in terms of cellular composition.The human at this period has both structures required to form the normal breathing channels as well as tissues that aquatic animals use to form gills. DNA codes then pick out the structures needed for human neck and facilitate disposal of the rest.
In some people however, even though the unused cells don’t develop to gills, their disposal doesn’t occur, hence they remain in the neck region and occupy space. The size of the lump in this case will depend on the amount of fluid that occupies tissues formed by these extra cells.
Similarly, there is a tube known as thyroglossal duct that, during the time when a fetus is developing, connects the thyroid glands to the tongue. At some point, this duct normally disappears, but is can also remainopen and fill up with fluids.
In both cases above, lumps usually appear at childhood and the person grows up used to them. There are a few cases however when these tissues stay out of sight, only to gain prominence at adulthood.
Enlarged lymph nodes
The lymphatic system is like the body’s defense station. It not only works round the clock to secure the body from entry of bacteria, viruses, molds and other pathogens, but also launches battles against these when they get their way into the body.
When the lymphatic system is active beyond its normal capacity, the thyroid glands becomes inflamed. This usually happens during serious infections that cause pathogens to overcrowd in the neck region.
While common infections like flu may lead to such a situation, especially in immunosuppressed individuals, swelling more common with Tuberculosis bacteria and HIV/AIDS virus. Most practitioners will recommend that a patient takes tests for these two conditions when they report sudden growth of lumps on the neck.
A painless, tough lump on the throat may be a malignant tumor. In some people, the cancer of the throat may remain dormant for years, so it is easy to dismiss tumors as just another lump. The cancer may also proceed unnoticed and only start causing discomforts when it is already serious.
Good news is most throat cancers are easily treatable at their early stages. Ignoring them however can lead to complications in future that make the situation more difficult to handle.
Other causes of neck lumps
Mononucleosis is a viral infection that most commonly affects children, adolescents, and few adults who get exposed to it for the first time, mainly through lip contact with an affected person. The condition is relatively harmless but can cause lots of discomforts, including throat ache, fatigue, and swollen neck.
After long-term exposure, the body develops immunity against the virus. As a result, it is rare to find adults suffering from the condition. Asymptomatic treatments can be provided until the body gets rid of the infection.
At times, the lump may not actually originate from the neck but from the skin. In this case, the problem may be as a result of excess deposition of keratin into the epidermis. The condition, known as keratosis, is characterized by a hard, painless lump on skin that maygrow with time or retain its size.
You should also try to rule out lumps from allergies or insect bites. Unless there are underlying conditions, which might aggravate the situation, these usually go away in a week or two.
What to do
Ensure that you confirm what has caused the condition on your neck before dismissing it. This is especially important if you notice that the lump is expanding or sticking around for too long.
There is also the element of stress: Even if the lump in the right side of your throat is nothing serious, you might dismiss it but continue worrying about unconsciously. Getting a doctor to look at it and assure you that it is nothing serious will help to give you the peace of mind.
Some people however continue worrying even after getting assurance from their GP. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, a few patients have proved their doctors wrong when they took further tests and found out that they had cancer.
Therefore, if your instinct pushes you to see a cancer specialist, it doesn’t hurt to prove it wrong. Convince your doctor to give you a referral even if they dismiss it.