Lymph nodes are no bigger than baked beans, but they’re powerful weapons in the body’s defense against disease and infection. These ovoid glands are scattered throughout the body, helping filter impurities in the blood. Their mightiest role is producing B-cells, lymphocytes that make specialized proteins called antibodies to attack foreign invaders.
Sometimes, you may notice swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits, or groin. This is usually a sign that your immune system produces an abundance of B-cells to help your body fight off infection. But swollen lymph nodes may also signal more serious conditions.
This article will explain when swollen lymph nodes may indicate more than a common infection. Topics include:
- How do you know if swollen lymph nodes are caused by a severe condition?
- When should you call a doctor?
- Which tests may be used to determine why they’re swollen?
- Which cancers are associated with swollen lymph nodes?
- What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- What is lymphedema?
About Cancer Treatment Centers of America®
Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is a national network of five hospitals that serves adult patients who are fighting cancer. CTCA® offers an integrative approach to care that combines advancements in genomic testing and precision cancer treatment, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy and chemotherapy, with evidence-informed supportive therapies designed to help patients physically and emotionally by enhancing their quality of life while managing side effects both during and after treatment.