What’s Causing This Lump on the Back of My Neck

What Is Cyst On Back Of Your Neck?

Cysts are small sacs filled with fluid or other material that form inside the body. They’re most common in the kidneys, but they can occur anywhere along your spinal cord and even in some parts of the brain. Cysts may cause symptoms such as:

Numbness or tingling in one or both legs (dizziness)

Headache

Weakness or numbness in any part of your body (limb weakness)

A feeling like something is pressing against the skin (pins and needles sensation)

If left untreated, cysts can lead to paralysis or death. When they’re large enough, they can block blood flow to vital organs and even cause death.

How Does Cyst Form?

Cysts are formed when cells within the lining of the bladder, uterus or fallopian tubes become inflamed. These cells release substances called hormones into the bloodstream that stimulate nearby tissues to grow. This process continues until a sac or cyst is formed.

There are many types of cysts. The most common are:

Epidermoid cysts: These develop from skin cells and can appear anywhere on the body. They grow slowly over time and tend to be small. Epidermoid cysts most often develop in middle-aged women and can appear on the ovaries or the area around them (the peritoneum).

Fibrocystic disease: This describes a group of non-cancerous lumps in the lining of the female reproductive system. These cysts are very common in women of childbearing age, affecting as many as four out of five women at some time in their life.

Dermoid cysts: These develop from cells that are similar to skin cells (epidermal cells). They grow quickly over a few months and are usually large. Dermoid cysts most often develop in middle-aged women and can appear anywhere in the abdomen.

How Are Cysts Diagnosed?

Your doctor may diagnose a cyst by feeling it during a physical exam. If they’re still unsure, they may order an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan to get a clearer picture of the cyst.

How Are Cysts Treated?

Most cysts don’t cause any symptoms and most of the time they go away on their own within a few months. Many doctors will repeat an ultrasound in three to six months to see if the cyst has decreased in size or disappeared completely. Your doctor may also order blood tests to check your hormone levels to see if an abnormality may be causing the cyst.

If the cyst is painful, inflamed or very large, your doctor may decide to drain it using a needle. If an infection is present, you may be given antibiotics. If the cyst doesn’t go away on its own or if it gets bigger, your doctor may perform surgery to remove it.

If surgery is required, you’ll be put to sleep and the cyst will be removed. If the cyst has blocked part of the spinal cord, you may need surgery to prevent permanent damage.

What Else Should I Know?

Cysts can’t always be prevented, but there are some things you can do to lower your risk:

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