Swollen Lymph Nodes
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Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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People with similar symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

  • Lymph node swelling that is persistent and increasing in size

  • Swollen lymph nodes, usually small swellings in the groin

  • Lymph nodes on different parts of my body are enlarged

  • There is a lump that can be moved by pressing

  • There is a lump on the side of the breast

  • Enlarged lymph nodes around collar bone

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Content updated on Jan 4, 2023

About the symptom

This refers to the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes, the bean-shaped glands located in the neck, armpits, chest, groin, and abdomen.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Swollen lymph nodes

Possible causes

  • Retropharyngeal abscess

    A retropharyngeal abscess is rare but potentially life-threatening infection that forms behind the back wall of the throat. Symptoms include sore throat, fevers, inability to completely open jaw (trismus), and limited neck range of motion. Imaging including ultrasounds and CT scans might be used to determine severity.

  • Suppurative lymphadenitis

    Lymphadenitis suppurativa is the inflammation and suppuration (pus formation) of lymph nodes in the body.

  • Malignant lymphoma

    A malignant lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the body's lymphatic system cells and can spread to other body parts. There are dozens of different kinds of lymphomas which are broadly categorized as "Hodgkins Lymphomas" and "Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas" (NHL). The different types are also classified by the cell type the cancer comes from and each different type of lymphoma has its own patterns of spread, treatments, and prognosis The most frequent symptom is swollen lymph nodes. Fevers, night sweats, itchiness, and fatigue can also be seen with lymphomas as can difficulty breathing or abdominal pain. Risk factors include age, family history, a weakened immune system from medications or illness, prior cancer treatments, viral infections such as Epstein-Barr and HIV.

  • Drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome
  • Necrotizing lymphadenitis (Kikuchi disease)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
  • Castleman's disease / TAFLO syndrome

Related serious diseases

  • Kawasaki disease

    Kawasaki disease causes swelling, called inflammation, in the walls of small to medium-sized blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. Kawasaki disease most often affects the heart arteries in children. Those arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. It also causes swelling in glands, called lymph nodes, and mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose, eyes and throat. Symptoms include a fever greater than 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) for five or more days, a rash on the main part of the body or in the genital area, an enlarged lymph node in the neck, very red eyes without a thick discharge, red, dry, cracked lips and a red, swollen tongue, swollen, red skin on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Later the skin on fingers and toes peels.

  • Recurrent parotitis

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Are your lymph nodes swollen and enlarged?

  • Do you have a lump near or above your collarbone?

  • Do you have a lump or swelling in your armpit area?

  • Do you have swollen lymph nodes in multiple locations on your body?

  • Are your swollen lymph nodes still getting bigger?

Other Related Symptoms

Symptoms from similar body parts

Reviewed By:

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc

Unnati Patel, MD, MSc (Primary Care Physician)

Dr Patel graduated from the Zhejiang University School of Medicine. She worked in clinical research at the University of Illinois in Chicago and University of Nevada in Las Vegas focused on culturally adapted health interventions for preventive medicine in the community setting. Received her Master's of Science in Global Health (concentration in Health Policy) from Georgetown University, during which she worked with the WHO in Sierra Leone and Save the Children in Washington, D.C. Unnati went on to complete her family medicine residency in Chicago, Illinois at Norwegian American Hospital. | | She is currently working as a primary care physician in the city of Chicago and completing her Master's of Business Administration at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and Fellowship in Leadership in Value-Based Care.

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

Dr. Abe graduated from The University of Tokyo School of Medicine in 2015. He completed his residency at the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Longevity Medical Center. He co-founded Ubie, Inc. in May 2017, where he currently serves as CEO & product owner at Ubie. Since December 2019, he has been a member of the Special Committee for Activation of Research in Emergency AI of the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine. | | Dr. Abe has been elected in the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Healthcare & Science category.

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