healthy Lymph node
This is a medical illustration of a lymph node is an oval- or kidney-shaped organ of the lymphatic system, present widely throughout the body including the armpit and stomach and linked by lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes are major sites of B, T, and other immune cells. Lymph nodes are important for the proper functioning of the immune system, acting as filters for foreign particles and cancer cells.
Lymph nodes may be found singly or in groups. And they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin, and underarms. Lymph nodes generally are not tender or painful. Most lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt.
Lymph nodes often swell in one location when a problem such as an injury, infection, or tumor develops in or near the lymph node. Which lymph nodes are swollen can help identify the problem.
- The glands on either side of the neck, under the jaw, or behind the ears commonly swell when you have a cold or sore throat. Glands can also swell following an injury, such as a cut or bite, near the gland or when a tumor or infection occurs in the mouth, head, or neck.
- Glands in the armpit (axillary ) may swell from an injury or infection to the arm or hand. A rare cause of axillary swelling may be breast cancer or lymphoma.
- The lymph nodes in the groin (femoral or inguinal lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals. In rare cases, testicular cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma may cause a lump in this area.
- Glands above the collarbone may swell from an infection or tumor in the areas of the lungs, breasts, neck, or abdomen.
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