Head & Neck Conditions

The ENT Partnership can assess, diagnose and treat the following conditions:

Neck Lumps | Lump in Throat | Sore Throat | Voice Problems | Mouth Lesions | Swallowing Problems | Thyroid Disease | Parotid and Submandibular Salivary Gland Disease | Facial Skin Cancers

The ENT Partnership specialises in the management of benign and cancerous conditions arising in the head and neck. Although most head and neck cancers occur in the elderly often with a history of smoking, serious conditions can occur in young and otherwise healthy patients. As with all cancers, prevention is better than cure, but early diagnosis of cancer generally leads to a better outcome. If you have worrying symptoms we would much rather see you at an early stage to reassure you it is innocent, than delay the diagnosis of a potentially serious condition.

Any of the below conditions could be a symptom of Head and Neck cancer.

Neck Lumpstop
Most neck lumps are benign and include lumps in the parotid and submandibular salivary glands, thyroid gland and also lymph nodes in the neck.  Occasionally a lump in the neck maybe cancerous.  All patients require a thorough history and examination and usually an endoscopic examination of the lining of the throat.  In additiona a needle samploe of the neck lump may be required. 

Click to download information booklets: Parotid Surgery or Thyroid Surgery or Lymph Node Biopsy

Our head and neck cancer surgeons work in a Head and Neck Multidisciplinary Team with oncologists, radiotherapists and other allied health professionals such as Macmillan Cancer Support.

Click to open the Macmillan Cancer Support website.

Lump in Throattop
The feeling of  a lump in the throat is a common complaint in adults. It is usually harmless.  The symtom is more worrying when associated with the following;   earache, difficulty in swallowing, weight loss, painful swallowing, particularly on one side of the throat and of course, in patients who smoke.

A lump in the throat needs a thorough examination, including an endoscopic examination of the lining of the throat. The symptom is often due to benign conditions but always needs appropriate assessment by an ENT surgeon. In addition the throat and oesophagus may need examining with a barium swallow examination or transnasal oesophagoscopy under local anaesthetic or rigid endoscopy under general aesthetic.

Sore Throattop
Sore throats may be due to conditions such as the common cold or tonsillitis and occasionally a tonsillectomy is required.  A persistent sore throat lasting more than four weeks needs further assessment by an ENT consultant.

Click to download information booklet: Tonsillectomy

Voice Problemstop
The causes of a hoarse voice are varied, and include benign conditions of the larynx such as vocal cord nodules, polyps, cysts. Sometimes surgical treatment is required with a microlaryngoscopy.  Any persistent hoarsness for more than four weeks requires further assessment by an ENT consultant.

Click to download information booklet: Microlaryngoscopy

Mouth Lesionstop

Any lump, red or white patch or ulcer that will not go away in four weeks requires further assessment.

Swallowing Problemstop
Causes of swallowing problems are diverse but may include acid reflux, a pharyngeal pouch or more serious problems including throat or oesophageal cancer. Difficulty in swallowing, particularly obstruction of swallowing and regurgitation of food needs further assessment.

Click to download information booklet: Gastro Oesophageal Reflux

Thyroid Diseasetop
Enlargement of the thyroid gland is called a goitre. This may be a diffuse enlargement of the whole gland or due to one or more nodules in the gland. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but all need assessment because some are due to serious conditions.  A goitre may need monitoring and may cause obstruction to breathing or swallowing difficulties.

Click to download information booklet: Thyroid Surgery

Parotid and Submandibular Salivary Gland Diseasetop
Most lumps in the salivary gland are benign and include swelling resulting from the the formations of stones which block the drainage of saliva into the mouth. Benign tumours of the salivary gland require assessment usually with a needle biopsy and ultrasound scan or MRI scan.  Malignant tumours of the salivary gland are rare.

Click to download information booklet: Parotid Surgery

Facial Skin Cancerstop
Most skin cancers occur in the Head and Neck region of the body. Most cancers occur in the more elderly patients but there is a great increase in the occurrence of all skin cancers, especially in the younger patients and often due to excess exposure to sunlight (and sunbeds!)

Any non healing growth of the skin of the face or neck should be assessed by a doctor. A mole that changes in colour or size or which starts to bleed needs an urgent assessment and any skin lump associated with a lump in the neck.

For further information on head and neck cancer referrals please visit www.nice.org.uk or download the NHS Referral Guildelines for suspected cancer