Evaluation of the Suspicious Neck Mass

  • Patrick J. O’Leary

While most neck masses are benign, they are frequently the first manifestation of an aerodigestive tract malignancy. Neck masses occur in all age groups and can be categorized as congenital, inflammatory, or neoplastic. The differential diagnosis is dependent upon the patient’s age, medical and social history (smoking and alcohol), and the location of the mass. In the pediatric population, congenital and infectious causes predominate. In contrast, neck masses in patients over the age of 40 should be considered malignant until proven otherwise. Indeed, fully 85% of adult neck masses are neoplastic, and 85% of those are malignant.


Fistula Tract Carotid Body Tumor Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Cystic Hygroma Branchial Cleft Cyst 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick J. O’Leary
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryDowney Regional Medical CenterDowneyUSA

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