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Lump in the anterior neck, now has bad breath. Has a nodule on thyroid. Insist timely evaluation? How to proceed?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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12 year old granddaughter with a lump the size of a large gumball to anterior neck, has now developed very bad breath.Yesterday was told she had a nodule on her thyroid. the gumball size lump on her neck is not on her thyroid [it is at the bend of her neck ]. Do you have suspicions as to what is going on??? how to proceed? Should we be insisting on timely evaluation? An ENT consult? Should we take her to the ER for a more timely eval? I am a registered nurse and am very worried abought her.Thank you for your time.
Posted Mon, 30 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

Swelling in the front or anterior part of the neck could be due to various reasons which have to be confirmed with a thorough examination and investigations.

The most common cause of swelling in the front of the neck in a female adolescent could be a thyroid swelling which is also termed as puberty goiter or physiological goiter. In this condition the either one particular part of the thyroid gland or the entire gland can swell up in response to the hormonal deficit in the body.

Then the second most common cause could be a thyroglossal cyst which is usually seen in the midline of the neck anywhere from the chin to the supra sternal notch.

Other causes could be lymph node enlargement in the anterior part of the neck in response to infection in the neck.

The diagnosis can be confirmed after a thorough examination of the swelling aided with an ultrasound of the neck with or without CT (Computerized Tomography) scan. I would suggest you to consult either an ENT specialist or a General Surgeon for the same.

Do not worry! None of these conditions are harmful for your child. Secondly, the bad breath could be because of mouth breathing or sinus related problems but not due to this swelling.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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