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Lump on back of neck at base of skull. Any sign of virus?

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My 21 yr old daughter has a lump on back of neck at base of skull, it has been there for quite some time, years actually. A recent ultrasound showed a cluster of small pebble like lumps rather than one mass. Radiologist said could be sign of a virus does this sound correct?
Posted Mon, 4 Nov 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 49 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

Lumps or nodes or cysts as these are normally called; their causes vary widely and it is safe to think that not every lump is worth all the worry after it. In very rare cases these bumps at the back of your neck are diagnosed to be tumors or cancerous on nature. Lumps at the base of skull have various types depending on their composition and the cause of white discharge their occurrence.

1. The term cyst is a wide classification and the types of cysts that occur in the neck region are normally sebaceous cysts. They are grape like in their softness and tender to touch. They are basically fluid filled sacs and result from blocked oil glands (sebaceous glands) in the skin.

2. Another category of bumps at the base of skull is occurrence of lipomas in the neck region. These are adipose tissue tumors that can get developed in the subcutaneous tissues of the neck, shoulder, head or back. These are benign and very slow growing and virtually harmless.

3. Another common type of lump at the base of skull can be categorized as the swelling of lymph nodes in that particular area. The swollen lymph nodes are soft, rubbery and movable to touch and may sometimes become painful. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system which is the root of immune system in the body. The swelling of lymph nodes is a clear indication of an infection in the body.

The best way of knowing what is inside a lump and if it is XXXXXXX is to do imaging investigation (ultrasound) and then do a small needle FNAC test (fine needle aspiration cytology). These two investigations will clear the diagnosis in most cases.

You can send across the ultrasound report if desired.

I hope this helps.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr.A.Rao Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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