Swollen Lymph Nodes

  • Medical Author:
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Author: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Swollen Lymph Nodes Symptoms

Swollen lymph glands are typically a result of local or widespread inflammation, but sometimes enlarged lymph nodes are due to cancer.

Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes include:

  • Swelling
  • Localized pain
  • Warmth in the involved area
  • Tenderness
Picture of 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. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 4/14/2016
References
REFERENCE:

MedscapeReference.com. Lymphadenitis.

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