Pediatric head and neck masses are not uncommon children. A majority of these lesions are inflammatory and it is rare for pediatric head and neck masses to be malignant. Etiologies include congenital masses, benign non-inflammatory, benign neoplastic, and malignant neoplastic lesions. The most common pediatric head and neck malignancies include non-Hodgkin lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, thyroid malignancies, nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs), salivary gland malignancies, and neuroblastomas.
- Hemangioma is the most common tumor of infancy and childhood and usually becomes evident within the first 6 weeks of life.
- Vascular malformations are present at birth. Generally speaking, venous and lymphatic malformations usually become manifest in infancy, while arteriovenous malformations usually become evident later in childhood.
- Malignant neoplasms are rare in the pediatric age group, but cancer is second only to trauma as a cause of death in patients aged 1 to 14 years.
- Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Thyroid Carcinoma
- Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis