May 25, 2017

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Swollen lymph nodes facts

  • Lymph nodes, also referred to as lymph glands, are important part of the immune system.
  • Lymph nodes are located throughout the body, but visible and palpable only when they are enlarged or swollen.
  • Lymph nodes are regional, and each group of them corresponds to a particular region of the body and reflects abnormalities in that region. Common areas where swollen lymph nodes are more prominent and therefore more readily noticeable are behind the ear, in the neck, the groin, under the chin and in the armpits.
  • These are also usually the areas your doctor will check for lymph node enlargement.
  • In general, infections are the most common causes of lymph node enlargement. Other causes include inflammation and cancers. There is a wide variety of infections from a strep throat or ear infection, to mononucleosis or HIV infection, which can cause swelling of lymph nodes.
  • Lymphoma and leukemia cause swelling of lymph nodes, and many cancers spread to lymph nodes.
  • Rarely, a medication can cause swelling of a lymph node.
  • Symptoms associated with lymph node swelling and related diseases can include pain in the area of the swelling, fever and fatigue.
  • Not all swollen lymph nodes are abnormal.
Reviewed on 4/14/2016