There are several lymph nodes in the neck, and when they enlarge, it may be a symptom of an infection. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and the lymph nodes produce antibodies that fight illness. These lymph nodes, which some people mistakenly call glands are also in the groin, under arms and in the neck. There are various reasons the neck nodes may swell, most of which are not serious.
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Fight of a lifetime
Fight off an infection or virus. When the white blood cells increase, it may trigger lymph nodes to enlarge to fight infection. Viruses, such as a simple cold up to a more serious condition, such as HIV, may also trigger the immune system's response.
Could be cancer
Warn the body of invasion. Malignant cells may also cause inflammation of a neck lymph node. Lymphoma or leukaemia are some cause lymph nodes to swell. If you suspect a malignancy or your swollen neck nodes have no explanation, see your doctor for an evaluation.
Sources of swelling
Discover the disorder. Several disorders will cause selling of the lymph glands. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or mononucleosis. Swollen neck lymph nodes many times accompany sore throat, fever, runny nose and/or a cough.
Is there a doctor in the house?
Call your doctor if the swollen lymph node lasts more than two weeks or if you have a fever or other symptoms that are persistent. If the lymph node swells quickly or is hard and doesn't float under the skin, or if the skin is red around it, you should call your doctor. Also, if the swelling is in the lower portion of your neck or near your collarbone, you may need to check out what's going on.
Kids these days
Feel your child's neck. A child's lymph nodes tend to swell more often and seem large. They're lymphatic systems are more active than adults; however, if they remain large for more than two weeks, or they have other symptoms that won't go away, call the doctor.
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