Benign and malignant head and neck tumors

Also known as: Head and neck cancer, head and neck masses, cysts, etc.

What are head and neck tumors?

Head and neck growths, tumors or masses in children are usually benign (non-cancerous), but can be malignant (a cancer which spreads).

Most of these benign growths are caused by infection, inflammation, fluid collections (cysts) or neoplasms (tumors) that are not life-threatening.

Malignant tumors of the head and neck, while serious and can potentially spread are often treatable. Frequent areas for head and neck masses include the nose/sinuses, throat (tonsils and adenoids), neck (lymph nodes, cysts) or brain, among other areas.

What causes head and neck tumors?

Congenital abnormalities, infections, local trauma and inflammations contribute to the development of head and neck tumors, while the causes of cancerous tumors are varied depending on the type of cancer involved.

What are the symptoms of head and neck tumors?

The type of symptoms and severity depends on the type, size and location of the mass. Often a swelling is all that is found; in some cases, symptoms such as pain, hoarseness, and bad breath or even weight loss can occur.

What are head and neck tumor care options?

Treatments depend on the type of mass present, and frequently involve medications, surgery and/or radiation.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: March 07, 2022 03:00 PM