A Quick Guide to Neck and Throat Cyst in Children
A neck or throat cyst in children can be very frightening, but in most cases the cyst will be benign. One of the most common cysts in children is called the dermoid cyst. When you look at this type of tumor under a microscope it will resemble skin tissue, which is how it got its name.
Usually this type of cyst will appear on the neck; it is a very firm tumor that will be attached to the overlying skin. In most cases the dermoid cyst is easy to diagnose, unless it is growing in an area of the neck where there may be other types of masses. These other masses may include such conditions as thyroglossal duct cysts, fatty tumors, etc.
These are two very different types of cysts that will require a different type of treatment. A thyroglossal duct cyst is a type of cyst that a child is usually born with. If a child has this type of throat cyst, they will need to undergo an operation to remove it completely due to the fact that it has a tendency to reoccur. The surgery required for a thyroglossal duct cyst is far more complex than the one that is required to remove a dermoid cyst. It is very important that you get a proper diagnosis to ensure than the surgery is performed correctly.
Although a throat cyst or neck mass being cancerous in a child is rare, it certainly does happen. For this reason it is usually recommended that any type of cyst or tumor that is discovered, be removed.
There are other options aside from surgery. If a child has a throat cyst or tumor you may choose observation to see if the tumor grows, or you can choose a procedure that will involve a biopsy by extracting cells through a fine needle. Of course there is also a full removal and biopsy option, which is usually the best choice as it helps to eliminate the chance of tumor growth if the mass does end up being cancer.
What may appear to be a throat cyst or mass on the neck could also be enlarged lymph nodes. This is a condition that could be caused by some type of infection; if your child’s doctor suspects swollen lymph nodes, he or she may opt to put your child on antibiotics for a short period of time to see if this helps reduce the mass. In addition, they may opt to run other tests such as a test for tuberculosis, as this illness may also cause this type of symptom.
If you choose to have your child undergo a aspiration biopsy which involve the removal of cell samples with a fine needle, you will want to fully understand that this can give you a diagnosis, but if the condition is cancer, your child will still have to have the throat cyst or neck mass removed.
Before making any type of decision you will want to discuss all possibilities with your child’s doctor, including the risks of surgery and biopsy. In addition you will want to be fully informed on what the risks of observation will be if the condition does turn out to be cancer.
Although in most cases a throat cyst or neck mass will not be a major danger to your child, you will always want to have the child’s condition evaluated by a healthcare professional. Only a doctor can diagnose a cyst and advise you on the best care to treat the condition.
If you suspect that your child may have a throat cyst, or you notice mass on the neck area, contact his or her doctor as soon as possible.