Neck Mass



The student has an understanding of head & neck anatomy, embryology, and thyroid / parathyroid physiology and can perform a competent head and neck physical exam.

Knowledge Objectives

Through their reading and patient care experiences, at the end of the rotation students should be able to:

Describe the neck masses commonly presenting in childhood.
Discuss the embryologic origin of these lesions and the anatomic implications to consider when resecting them.
Describe the signs, symptoms & etiologies of inflammatory neck masses.
Discuss Ludwig’s angina and why it may be life-threatening.
Describe appropriate treatment for cervical adenitis?
Discuss the evaluation of suspected tuberculous adenitis.
Describe the most common neoplastic neck masses and their origin.
Discuss the role of fine-needle cytology, open biopsy, CT scan, MRI, thyroid scan, and nasopharyngeal endoscopy in the diagnostic work up of a neck mass.
Discuss the relationship of smoking and alcohol abuse to squamous cell cancers.
Discuss the evaluation and differential diagnosis of a patient with a thyroid nodule.
Discuss the common thyroid malignancies, their cell of origin and their management. Which has the best prognosis? The worst? Which is associated with MEN syndrome?
Discuss the relationship of radiation exposure to thyroid malignancy.
Which malignancies frequently metastasize to the neck? How is the metastatic nodal disease managed and how does this differ based on the origin of the primary?
Discuss the common non-neoplastic thyroid diseases that could present as a mass.
Discuss the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism and discuss treatment options.
Discuss diagnosis and management of thyroiditis.
Interpret routine thyroid function tests.
Describe the relationship of smoking and chewing tobacco use to head and neck malignancy.
Describe the relationship of thyroid malignancy to radiation exposure.