Neck swelling

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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Content updated on May 23, 2022


Neck swelling is a buildup of fluid in the tissues of the neck or inflammation in the neck. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and an enlarged thyroid gland may also lead to neck swelling.

When to See a Doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Neck swelling

Possible Causes

  • Subacute thyroiditis

    Inflammation of the thyroid gland, causing high levels of thyroid hormone in the body. Common causes include virus infections e.g. after a flu.

  • MALT lymphoma

    MALT lymphoma a form of lymphoma (cancer of lymph system) from any mucosal site frequently the stomach. It arises from the immune cells of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). MALT is lymphoid tissue aggregates found in mucosal membrane like gastrointestinal tract, nose, throat, thyroid, breast, lung, salivary glands, eye, and skin.

  • Lung cancer

    Cancer of the lungs. Smoking and secondhand smoke accounts for over 80% of lung cancers. Other causes include exposure to fine particles (e.g. asbestos) and genetic factors.

  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Malignant lymphoma

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have swelling on the front of your neck?

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Sanshiro Kato

Medically Reviewed By:

Sanshiro Kato, MD

Emergency department

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