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Swollen Lymph Nodes (Causes, Locations, Symptoms, Treatments)

Swollen lymph nodes definition and 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. Doctor's and other health care professionals also check these areas for enlarged or swollen lymph nodes.
  • A wide variety infections are the most common causes of swelling of the lymph nodes, for example, strep throat, ear infections, mononucleosis, or more serious medical problems like HIV infection, lymphomas (non-Hoddgkin's lymphoma) or other cancers.
  • Rarely, a medication can cause the problem.
  • 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.
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Reviewed on 7/3/2017

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