At Queen City Ear Nose and Throat our physicians treat a wide variety of head neck disorders. Here is a short list of some of the more common conditions we diagnose and treat:
Infections and tumors of the salivary glands
Salivary glands are an important part of your body’s ability to keep your mouth and throat healthy. The saliva produced by these glands helps lubricate the mouth and throat. The salivary glands can become infected causing swelling and discomfort. Most salivary gland infections can be treated with antibiotics. If salivary gland infections don’t respond to antibiotic treatment or become recurrent, further evaluation and treatment are often recommended. This may include bloodwork to evaluate for inflammatory conditions such as autoimmune disorders that can cause swelling of the salivary glands. Other testing including a CT scan may also be recommended to assess for other sources of infection and inflammation such as stones that can form in the ducts of the salivary glands that block the flow of saliva.
The salivary glands can also develop tumors that may present with a palpable mass. The parotid gland is the most common salivary gland that can develop tumors. While many tumors are benign and not cancerous, any swelling or mass in a salivary gland needs to be evaluated and properly diagnosed. The evaluation may consist of diagnostic imaging called a CT scan and a biopsy of the salivary tumor may be recommended. Based on the results of the imaging and biopsy further treatment and surgical removal of the salivary tumor may be recommended. In the parotid gland this surgery is referred to as a parotidectomy where typically the portion of the gland that contains the tumor is removed.
Skin cancers of the face and neck
Sores and growths on the face and neck could be skin cancer. Skin cancers can be dangerous because of their growth, not just on the surface, but also deeper into the skin and the tissues beneath it. A biopsy is often recommended to determine if a skin growth is cancerous. If a biopsy confirms skin cancer, surgical removal is most commonly recommended to prevent further growth and spread of the skin cancer.
Learn more at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web page for skin cancer.
Benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck
A lesion or growth in the throat or a palpable mass in the neck can develop from a variety of causes. While in many cases these may be benign and not cancerous, any lesion or growth in the throat or a mass in the neck should be evaluated in order to be properly diagnosed. If left untreated and undiagnosed a cancerous growth in the throat or neck can enlarge and spread causing additional symptoms and make treatment and the potential for cure more difficult. The sooner a newly formed tumor is diagnosed, the better the chances are for a successful outcome.
Congenital cysts of the neck
The most common congenital head and neck masses are dermoid cysts, branchial cleft cysts, and thyroglossal duct cysts.
Dermoid cysts are usually found on the scalp, face, or neck.
Branchial cleft cysts develop in the neck of young children and often present as swelling or a palpable mass in the neck.
Thyroglossal duct cysts are lumps that usually develop in the middle of the neck near the Adam’s apple or under the chin.
Congenital cysts in the neck are typically evaluated with physical examination and imaging that may include an ultrasound or CT scan. Surgical removal of congenital cysts is often recommended since they may increase in size and become infected.
If you or a family member may have any of these conditions call Queen City Ear Nose and Throat at (704) 703-1080 or book an appointment online today.