A neck mass is an abnormal lump in the neck. A neck mass may be caused by infection, a benign tumor, or a cancerous tumor.
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Examination under anesthesia is performed by a surgeon to evaluate the back of your throat, voice box, the back of your nose, upper trachea (breathing tube) and upper esophagus (swallowing tube).
A biopsy involves taking a sample of tissue from the neck mass, which is looked at under the microscope by a pathologist to make a diagnosis.
A neck mass may indicate a serious medical problem. It does not mean you have cancer, but it does mean you need more evaluation to make a diagnosis.