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Swollen armpit node: Swollen lymph nodes – Symptoms and causes

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Swollen lymph nodes – Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis

To diagnose what might be causing your swollen lymph nodes, your doctor may need:

  • Your medical history. Your doctor will want to know when and how your swollen lymph nodes developed and if you have any other signs or symptoms.
  • A physical exam. Your doctor will also want to check lymph nodes near the surface of your skin for size, tenderness, warmth and texture. The site of your swollen lymph nodes and your other signs and symptoms will offer clues to the underlying cause.
  • Blood tests. Certain blood tests may help confirm or exclude any suspected underlying conditions. The specific tests will depend on the suspected cause, but most likely will include a complete blood count (CBC). This test helps evaluate your overall health and detect a range of disorders, including infections and leukemia.
  • Imaging studies. A chest X-ray or computerized tomography (CT) scan of the affected area may help determine potential sources of infection or find tumors.
  • Lymph node biopsy. Your doctor may have you undergo a biopsy to secure the diagnosis. He or she will remove a sample from a lymph node or even an entire lymph node for microscopic examination.

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Treatment

Swollen lymph nodes caused by a virus usually return to normal after the viral infection resolves. Antibiotics are not useful to treat viral infections. Treatment for swollen lymph nodes from other causes depends on the cause:

  • Infection. The most common treatment for swollen lymph nodes caused by a bacterial infection is antibiotics. If your swollen lymph nodes are due to an HIV infection, you’ll receive specific treatment for that condition.
  • Immune disorder. If your swollen lymph nodes are a result of certain conditions, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, treatment is directed at the underlying condition.
  • Cancer. Swollen nodes caused by cancer require treatment for the cancer. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment may involve surgery, radiation or chemotherapy.

Lifestyle and home remedies

If your swollen lymph nodes are tender or painful, you might get some relief by doing the following:

  • Apply a warm compress. Apply a warm, wet compress, such as a washcloth dipped in hot water and wrung out, to the affected area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
  • Get adequate rest. You often need rest to aid your recovery from the underlying condition.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have swollen lymph nodes, you’re likely to start by first seeing your family doctor. When you call to set up your appointment, you may be urged to seek immediate medical care if you’re experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Here’s some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, ask if you need to do anything in advance.
  • List any symptoms you’ve been experiencing, and for how long. Among other symptoms, your doctor will want to know if you’ve had flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or sore throat, and may ask whether you’ve noticed changes in your weight. Include on your list every symptom, from mild to severe, that you’ve noticed since your lymph nodes began to swell.
  • Make a list of all recent exposures to possible sources of infection. These may include travel abroad, hiking in areas known to have ticks, eating undercooked meat, being scratched by a cat, or engaging in high-risk sexual behavior or sex with a new partner.
  • Make a list of your key medical information, including other conditions you’re being treated for and the names of the medications that you’re taking. Include every prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug you use, as well as any vitamins and supplements.
  • List questions to ask your doctor.

For swollen lymph nodes, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What’s causing my symptoms?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatment do you recommend?
  • How quickly will I start to feel better?
  • Am I contagious? How can I reduce the risk of infecting others?
  • How can I prevent this from happening in the future?
  • I have these other health conditions. Do I need to change the treatments I’ve been using?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing for me?
  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your affected lymph nodes gotten larger over time?
  • Are your affected lymph nodes tender?
  • Have you been experiencing a fever or night sweats?
  • Have you lost weight without trying?
  • Do you have a sore throat or difficulty swallowing?
  • Have you experienced any difficulty breathing?
  • Have your bowel habits changed?
  • What medications are you currently taking?
  • Have you recently traveled to another country or to tick-inhabited regions? Did anyone who traveled with you get sick?
  • Have you recently been exposed to new animals? Were you bitten or scratched?
  • Have you recently had sex with a new partner?
  • Do you practice safe sex? Have you done so since you became sexually active?
  • Do you smoke? For how long?

What you can do in the meantime

While you wait for your appointment, if your swollen nodes are painful, try easing your discomfort by using warm compresses and an OTC pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).


Oct. 09, 2019

Show references

  1. Fletcher RH. Evaluation of peripheral lymphadenopathy in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.
  2. Jameson JL, et al., eds. Enlargement of lymph nodes and spleen. In: Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 20th ed. The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2018. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.
  3. Lymphadenopathy. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/cardiovascular-disorders/lymphatic-disorders/lymphadenopathy#. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.
  4. Papadakis MA, et al., eds. Lymphangitis and lymphadenitis. In: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2019. 58th ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2019. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.
  5. American Cancer Society. Lymph nodes and cancer. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer.html. Accessed Sept. 3, 2019.

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Swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphadenopathy)



Overview

Swollen lymph nodes can occur in your armpits as well as in your neck and groin.

What are swollen lymph nodes?

When you’re not feeling so great, like you’re coming down with something, you may notice some swelling on the sides of your neck. Those lumps probably feel soft and tender to the touch — and may even hurt a little.

Swollen lymph nodes (or what doctors call lymphadenopathy) are common and are actually a good thing. The swelling in these pea- or bean-sized lymph nodes are one of your body’s natural reactions to illness or infection. That tells doctors that your body’s healthy and robust immune system is working to clear away infection and/or invading viruses or bacteria.

Many people call them swollen glands ― even though they’re really not glands, but part of your lymphatic system. One of your body’s lesser known systems, it’s in charge of balancing your fluid levels.

Your swollen glands act like filters that help your body get rid of germs, cells or other foreign matter that passes through your lymph fluid (a clear or slightly yellowish fluid made up of white blood cells, proteins and fats).

And when you think of swollen glands, you most likely think of swelling in your neck. But the lymph nodes in your groin, under your chin and your armpits can swell too. You can even move them slightly with your fingers.

You also have lymph nodes throughout your body that you can’t feel. There’s a network of about 600 of them (the exact count actually varies by person) in your:

  • Jaw.
  • Chest.
  • Arms.
  • Abdomen.
  • Legs.



Symptoms and Causes

What causes swollen lymph nodes?

The most common cause of lymph node swelling in your neck is an upper respiratory infection, which can take 10 to 14 days to resolve completely. As soon as you start feeling better, the swelling should go down as well, though it may take a few weeks longer to go away completely.

Other bacteria and viruses that may cause your lymph nodes to become swollen include:

Your lymph nodes get larger when more blood cells come to fight off an invading infection. They all essentially pile in, causing pressure and swelling.

Often, the lymph nodes that swell will be close to the infection’s site. (That means a person with strep throat might develop swollen lymph nodes in their neck.)



Diagnosis and Tests

How are swollen lymph nodes diagnosed?

Swollen lymph nodes aren’t a disease, they’re a symptom. Usually, diagnosing them means pinpointing what’s causing the swelling.

Besides a regular physical exam and medical history, your doctor will evaluate your swollen lymph nodes for:

  • Size.
  • Pain or tenderness when touched.
  • Consistency (hard or rubbery).
  • Matting (whether they feel joined or move together).
  • Location (specific diseases can be tied to where the swollen lymph nodes are in your body).

Your doctor will make sure your swollen lymph nodes aren’t caused by any of your medications. Some drugs, like the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin®) can cause swollen lymph nodes.

Doctors only worry about swollen lymph nodes when they enlarge for no apparent reason. So if you have a large, swollen area but you’re not feeling sick and you didn’t recently have a cold, flu, upper respiratory infection or skin infection, you’ll need further tests, like blood work, imaging scans or a biopsy.

In rare situations, swollen lymph nodes can even point to cancer ― specifically, lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Other less common causes of swollen lymph nodes include injury, AIDS and cancer that’s spread from the lymph nodes to another part of your body.



Management and Treatment

How are swollen lymph nodes treated?

If swollen lymph nodes are only found in one area of your body it’s called localized swollen lymph nodes. And most of the time, you have a virus ― so there’s no treatment truly needed and it will just run its course. The nodes will gradually shrink back to their normal size.

For some infections (like pink eye or tinea), your doctor may prescribe an antiviral or antibiotic to clear it up.

When swollen lymph nodes are found in two or more areas (generalized swollen lymph nodes), it usually points to a more serious systemic (meaning it’s all over your body) disease. These are wide-ranging and include:

These conditions will require more aggressive treatments over a longer period of time. Your swollen lymph nodes may not return to their normal size until after your treatment has ended.

How to ease pain from swollen lymph nodes

You may feel a bit sore and tender. Try using a warm compress (like a microwavable rice sock or similar heating pad) and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®). These treatments won’t shrink the nodes, but they’ll help ease your pain temporarily until your body fights off the infection or illness successfully.

Are swollen lymph nodes contagious?

No, swollen lymph nodes themselves aren’t contagious. You can’t just catch them. But if they were caused by a contagious virus (like cold and flu), you can spread those to your family and others around you.



Prevention

Can you prevent swollen lymph nodes?

You wouldn’t want to prevent swollen lymph nodes. They’re a sign that your body is fighting an infection or illness. If you hate the discomfort of having swollen lymph nodes, your best bet is to take extra steps to keep from catching common viruses through:

  • Proper handwashing.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes and nose.
  • Staying away from those who are sick.
  • Disinfecting surfaces in your home or workspace.
  • Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising.



Outlook / Prognosis

When should I worry about swollen lymph nodes?

Most swollen lymph nodes aren’t a cause for concern and will go away as your infection clears up.

See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms that might indicate that something more serious is going on:

  • Lymph nodes that are 1+ inch in diameter.
  • Nodes that are very painful, hard, fixed to the skin or growing rapidly.
  • Nodes that are draining pus or other substances.
  • Symptoms like weight loss, night sweats, long-lasting fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing.
  • Swollen nodes close to your collarbone or lower part of your neck (this often points to cancer).
  • Red or inflamed skin over your swollen lymph nodes.

Are swollen lymph nodes ever fatal?

No, swollen lymph nodes aren’t fatal. Alone, they’re simply a sign that your immune system is fighting an infection or illness. However, in rare cases, swollen lymph nodes can point to serious conditions, such as cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma), which could potentially be fatal.

Swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphadenopathy)



Overview

Swollen lymph nodes can occur in your armpits as well as in your neck and groin.

What are swollen lymph nodes?

When you’re not feeling so great, like you’re coming down with something, you may notice some swelling on the sides of your neck. Those lumps probably feel soft and tender to the touch — and may even hurt a little.

Swollen lymph nodes (or what doctors call lymphadenopathy) are common and are actually a good thing. The swelling in these pea- or bean-sized lymph nodes are one of your body’s natural reactions to illness or infection. That tells doctors that your body’s healthy and robust immune system is working to clear away infection and/or invading viruses or bacteria.

Many people call them swollen glands ― even though they’re really not glands, but part of your lymphatic system. One of your body’s lesser known systems, it’s in charge of balancing your fluid levels.

Your swollen glands act like filters that help your body get rid of germs, cells or other foreign matter that passes through your lymph fluid (a clear or slightly yellowish fluid made up of white blood cells, proteins and fats).

And when you think of swollen glands, you most likely think of swelling in your neck. But the lymph nodes in your groin, under your chin and your armpits can swell too. You can even move them slightly with your fingers.

You also have lymph nodes throughout your body that you can’t feel. There’s a network of about 600 of them (the exact count actually varies by person) in your:

  • Jaw.
  • Chest.
  • Arms.
  • Abdomen.
  • Legs.



Symptoms and Causes

What causes swollen lymph nodes?

The most common cause of lymph node swelling in your neck is an upper respiratory infection, which can take 10 to 14 days to resolve completely. As soon as you start feeling better, the swelling should go down as well, though it may take a few weeks longer to go away completely.

Other bacteria and viruses that may cause your lymph nodes to become swollen include:

Your lymph nodes get larger when more blood cells come to fight off an invading infection. They all essentially pile in, causing pressure and swelling.

Often, the lymph nodes that swell will be close to the infection’s site. (That means a person with strep throat might develop swollen lymph nodes in their neck.)



Diagnosis and Tests

How are swollen lymph nodes diagnosed?

Swollen lymph nodes aren’t a disease, they’re a symptom. Usually, diagnosing them means pinpointing what’s causing the swelling.

Besides a regular physical exam and medical history, your doctor will evaluate your swollen lymph nodes for:

  • Size.
  • Pain or tenderness when touched.
  • Consistency (hard or rubbery).
  • Matting (whether they feel joined or move together).
  • Location (specific diseases can be tied to where the swollen lymph nodes are in your body).

Your doctor will make sure your swollen lymph nodes aren’t caused by any of your medications. Some drugs, like the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin®) can cause swollen lymph nodes.

Doctors only worry about swollen lymph nodes when they enlarge for no apparent reason. So if you have a large, swollen area but you’re not feeling sick and you didn’t recently have a cold, flu, upper respiratory infection or skin infection, you’ll need further tests, like blood work, imaging scans or a biopsy.

In rare situations, swollen lymph nodes can even point to cancer ― specifically, lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Other less common causes of swollen lymph nodes include injury, AIDS and cancer that’s spread from the lymph nodes to another part of your body.



Management and Treatment

How are swollen lymph nodes treated?

If swollen lymph nodes are only found in one area of your body it’s called localized swollen lymph nodes. And most of the time, you have a virus ― so there’s no treatment truly needed and it will just run its course. The nodes will gradually shrink back to their normal size.

For some infections (like pink eye or tinea), your doctor may prescribe an antiviral or antibiotic to clear it up.

When swollen lymph nodes are found in two or more areas (generalized swollen lymph nodes), it usually points to a more serious systemic (meaning it’s all over your body) disease. These are wide-ranging and include:

These conditions will require more aggressive treatments over a longer period of time. Your swollen lymph nodes may not return to their normal size until after your treatment has ended.

How to ease pain from swollen lymph nodes

You may feel a bit sore and tender. Try using a warm compress (like a microwavable rice sock or similar heating pad) and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®). These treatments won’t shrink the nodes, but they’ll help ease your pain temporarily until your body fights off the infection or illness successfully.

Are swollen lymph nodes contagious?

No, swollen lymph nodes themselves aren’t contagious. You can’t just catch them. But if they were caused by a contagious virus (like cold and flu), you can spread those to your family and others around you.



Prevention

Can you prevent swollen lymph nodes?

You wouldn’t want to prevent swollen lymph nodes. They’re a sign that your body is fighting an infection or illness. If you hate the discomfort of having swollen lymph nodes, your best bet is to take extra steps to keep from catching common viruses through:

  • Proper handwashing.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes and nose.
  • Staying away from those who are sick.
  • Disinfecting surfaces in your home or workspace.
  • Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising.



Outlook / Prognosis

When should I worry about swollen lymph nodes?

Most swollen lymph nodes aren’t a cause for concern and will go away as your infection clears up.

See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms that might indicate that something more serious is going on:

  • Lymph nodes that are 1+ inch in diameter.
  • Nodes that are very painful, hard, fixed to the skin or growing rapidly.
  • Nodes that are draining pus or other substances.
  • Symptoms like weight loss, night sweats, long-lasting fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing.
  • Swollen nodes close to your collarbone or lower part of your neck (this often points to cancer).
  • Red or inflamed skin over your swollen lymph nodes.

Are swollen lymph nodes ever fatal?

No, swollen lymph nodes aren’t fatal. Alone, they’re simply a sign that your immune system is fighting an infection or illness. However, in rare cases, swollen lymph nodes can point to serious conditions, such as cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma), which could potentially be fatal.

Armpit lumps: Causes, diagnosis, and treatment

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Armpit lumps are very common and are normally caused by a swollen lymph node or gland under the armpit. However, there are many other causes for armpit lumps, some of which may require treatment.

Fortunately, there are many treatments for lumps that appear under the arm, depending on what has caused them. A doctor can diagnose the underlying cause of an armpit lump and prescribe the proper treatment.

There could be a number of potential causes of armpit lumps. Most armpit lumps are harmless and the direct result of abnormal tissue growth.

However, armpit lumps may indicate a much more serious underlying health issue. If this is the case, it will most likely require medical intervention.

Share on PinterestMost armpit lumps are harmless, but occasionally they can indicate a more serious condition.

Some of the most common causes of armpit lumps include:

  • noncancerous, fibrous tissue growth (fibroadenoma)
  • cysts or fluid filled sacs
  • allergic reactions to deodorant, antiperspirant, or soap
  • viral or bacterial infections
  • infections that drain into the lump in the armpit
  • fatty growths (lipomas)
  • adverse reactions to vaccinations
  • fungal infections
  • lupus
  • breast cancer
  • lymphoma
  • leukemia

The most obvious symptom of an armpit lump is the lump itself. The lumps can range in size from very tiny to quite large.

The texture of the armpit lump may vary according to what is causing it. For example, a cyst, infection or fatty growth may feel soft to the touch. However, fibroadenomas and cancerous tumors may feel hard and immobile.

Some people may experience pain with an armpit lump. Painful lumps are often associated with infections and allergic reactions, which cause softer lumps. Lymph node infections may also cause painful lumps in the armpit.

The infections can cause the following symptoms to occur with the armpit lump:

  • swelling throughout the lymph nodes in the body
  • fever
  • night sweats

Lumps that change in size gradually or that do not go away may be symptoms of more serious conditions such as:

  • breast cancer
  • lymphoma
  • leukemia

Differences in men and women

Share on PinterestAlthough both men and women of all ages can get armpit lumps, women should pay special attention to lumps in this region as they may indicate breast cancer.

Armpit lumps occur in both men and women of all ages and many of these are harmless. However, women should be particularly aware of armpit lumps as they may indicate breast cancer.

Women should perform monthly breast self-exams and see a doctor for routine exams. If a woman finds a lump, she should report the lump to her doctor right away.

A man can generally wait to see a doctor unless they notice warning signs indicating the lump is serious. This is because men are far less likely to find a lump in the armpit that is due to breast cancer. However, although rare, men can also develop breast cancer.

Any new or newly discovered lump on the body could cause concern. However, not all lumps are harmful or even painful. The seriousness of a lump can be best determined through medical examination and sometimes additional testing.

Warning signs that may indicate a more serious armpit lump include:

  • gradual enlargement
  • no pain
  • does not go away

If a person experiences or notices any of these symptoms, or has any doubts about the lump, they should see their doctor as soon as possible who can rule out more serious causes. Of course, any unusual lumps should be carefully evaluated.

What happens next

When a person sees a doctor about an armpit lump, the doctor will generally start by asking them questions about the lump. The doctor may ask about any pain or discomfort the person is experiencing.

In addition, the doctor will perform a physical examination. This examination should include a hand palpation or massage to determine the consistency and texture of the armpit lump. This procedure allows the doctor to thoroughly examine the lymph nodes.

Only a doctor can determine whether an armpit lump is serious or not. A doctor may be able to diagnose the cause with just a simple examination.

In other cases, a doctor may request that the person monitor the lump closely to check for any changes over time.

Sometimes, a doctor will order additional tests to help rule out other causes, such as allergic reactions, infections, and cancer. These tests might include:

  • allergy testing
  • complete blood count that measures the number of red and white blood cells
  • biopsy removing a small piece of tissue from the lump for testing
  • chest or breast X-ray (mammogram)

Non-harmful lumps may require no further actions. Bothersome or harmful lumps will almost certainly entail some form of treatment.

Share on PinterestIf the lump is a symptom of a minor condition, such as an allergy or infection, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter creams or medications.

Many people have armpit lumps that do not require any treatment. A doctor may simply monitor the lump and ask the person to report any changes they experience.

For people with armpit lumps that do not need formal treatment, the doctor may recommend home remedies. Many of these can be bought online, such as:

  • warm compresses or heat packs.
  • over-the-counter creams
  • pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen.

Lumps caused by allergic reactions will clear up when the allergen is removed. If the lump is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection. The armpit lump should reduce in size and eventually disappear.

Simple procedures may be required to remove fatty lumps or cysts. These procedures are often short and present minimal risk to the person.

What if the armpit lump is cancerous?

Unfortunately, some lumps have more serious causes, such as cancerous tumors.

If this is the case, a doctor will need to consider treating the cancer. Treatment options will be similar to treatment for many other types of cancer. Some possible treatment options include:

The outlook for an armpit lump depends largely on the cause.

For example:

  • A lump caused by a viral infection will usually go away as the infection clears up.
  • Lumps that result from allergic reactions should also clear up once the allergen is removed or reduced.

However, some armpit lumps will not disappear without treatment.

For example:

  • A lipoma is not harmful, but will not go away on its own. As a result, lipomas require medical help to remove.
  • Lumps caused by cancer vary in terms of successful outcome.

Factors that may affect the outlook for someone with a cancerous lump under their arm are:

  • the stage of the cancer when first treated
  • whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body

As with all cancer types, early detection is important to help increase the chances of successful remission.

Ultimately, determining the cause of the armpit lump is vital in terms of treatment and outlook. When a lump is discovered, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor to determine the exact cause and decide what needs to be done in terms of treatment.

Axillary Lymphadenopathy: Overview and more

Axillary lymphadenopathy, also known as adenopathy, describes changes in the size and consistency of lymph nodes in the armpit (axilla). It is not a disease itself but rather a symptom associated with a range of diseases and conditions from mild infections to breast cancer. (Lymphadenopathy caused by infection or other inflammatory processes is more accurately referred to as lymphadenitis.) Along with swelling, axillary lymphadenopathy may involve tenderness, pain, redness, and fatigue, all of which can point to possible causes that a doctor can home in on in order to decide how to go about making a diagnosis and from there ,determine what, if any, treatment is required.

Symptoms of Axillary Lymphadenopathy

Axillary lymphadenopathy is characterized by swelling and inflammation of one or several of the 20 to 40 axillary lymph nodes in each armpit. The swelling may be unilateral (involving one armpit) or bilateral (involving both). 

Unilateral swelling often (but not always) is symptomatic of an infection or disease on that side of the body, while bilateral swelling tends to point to such an illness that’s systemic.

Swollen axillary lymph nodes can range in size from a small pea to a large grape. They can feel spongy or hard like a marble and be accompanied by additional symptoms:

  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Night sweats
  • Lymphedema (swelling of the affected arm)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Splenomegaly (swollen spleen)

Causes

Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which also is comprised of lymph fluid, lymph vessels, the spleen, tonsils, and thymus gland. The lymphatic system plays a central role in immune function, fluid balance, and absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients.

As lymph vessels drain fluid from the body’s tissues, the fluid is channeled to the lymph nodes for inspection by the immune system. Any foreign agent can trigger the release of inflammatory proteins (called cytokines) and defensive white blood cells (called lymphocytes) to isolate and neutralize the invader within the node itself. The resulting inflammation and build-up of fluid leads to the swelling recognized as lymphadenopathy.

Axillary lymphadenopathy can occur alongside lymphadenopathy of the neck or chest or as part of generalized lymphadenopathy (lymphadenopathy occurring in many parts of the body as a result of a systemic illness). It also can occur in isolation along with symptoms that provide clues about the underlying cause, such as:

  • Local infection of the arm, hand, chest, or shoulder (especially streptococcal and staphylococcal skin infections)
  • Short-term inflammation resulting from a shoulder or arm tattoo
  • Vaccinations (especially for measles, smallpox, tuberculosis, or anthrax)
  • Strep throat, which can affect the axillary lymph nodes as well as the cervical lymph nodes)
  • Cat-scratch fever resulting from a cat scratch on an arm or hand
  • Sporotrichosis, a rare fungal infection also known as rose gardener’s disease
  • Hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful skin condition of uncertain origin affecting sweat glands
  • Tularemia, also known as deer fly fever, a rare infectious disease that typically attacks the skin, eyes, lymph nodes, and lungs
  • HIV (particularly early-stage infection in which axillary and cervical lymph nodes are most likely to be affected)
  • Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (characterized by swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, neck, or groin)
  • Lymphoma in the chest (cancer of lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue)
  • Regional cutaneous tuberculosis, a form of TB characterized by scaly and crusting skin lesions
  • Breast cancer especially with locally advanced breast cancer or inflammatory breast cancer)

Lung, thyroid, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian, kidney, and skin cancer can also sometimes metastasize (spread) to the axilla.

Diagnosis

Axillary lymphadenopathy usually can be identified with a physical exam. You may notice swollen nodes while bathing or if there is pain or discomfort under your arms. our doctor may discover them during a routine checkup even if you have no symptoms.

To determine the cause of lymphadenopathy requires further evaluation. Your doctor will consider certain factors, including:

  • Size of the lymph nodes
  • Number of lymph nodes
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Location (unilateral vs. bilateral)
  • Consistency (whether the nodes are hard or spongy)
  • Matting (whether the nodes are conjoined or individual)
  • Mobility (whether the nodes are movable or immovable)

When taken in their entirety, these clues may point the doctor in the direction of certain illnesses and help them exclude others:

Diagnostic Clues in Lymphadenopathy Evaluation
Symptoms Suspected Cause(s)
Acute joint pain and stiffness, muscle weakness, rash Autoimmune
Fever, chills, fatigue, malaise Infection
Splenomegaly, unexplained weight loss of more than 10% Lymphoma, metastatic cancer
Multiple small nodes that feel like “buck shot” Viral infection
A hard, painless or firm, rubbery mass that is fixed Cancer
Swollen lymph nodes appearing days or week after a sexual exposure HIV

Doctors tend to worry about lymph nodes if they develop for no apparent reason. In such cases, additional tests may be ordered to help narrow the causes.

Lab Tests and Procedures

In addition to a physical exam, the doctor will review your medical history and symptoms—such as recent vaccinations, unexplained weight loss, recent sexual exposures, or abnormal skin lesions—to determine which tests to include in the workup. Options may include:

  • C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) blood tests to check for generalized inflammation
  • White blood cell count (an elevation may suggest an infection)
  • Infection-specific tests (such as an HIV test, TB test, and strep tests)
  • Immunologic blood tests (to help detect autoimmune disease)
  • Skin biopsy (if skin lesions are present)
  • Diagnostic mammogram or breast ultrasound
  • Imaging studies such as X-ray, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Lymph node biopsy (to determine if an infection, autoimmune disorder, or cancer is involved)

Differential Diagnoses

Lumps and masses in the armpit don’t always indicate lymphadenopathy. Some may be benign or malignant growths unassociated with the lymphatic system, such as:

  • Lipomas (benign tumors composed of mature fat cells)
  • Epidermal inclusion cysts (benign cysts usually found on the skin)
  • Fibroadenomas (benign, painless breast lumps that can extend to the armpit)
  • Schwannomas (benign tumors of nerve sheaths)
  • Malignant neuroendocrine tumors (a cancer involving cells of the nervous and endocrine systems that occasionally affects the axilla)

These conditions usually can be differentiated with imaging studies and other procedures, such as fine-needle aspiration.

Treatment

Lymphadenopathy is not a disease but rather a symptom of a disease, infection, or abnormal immune response. As such, axillary lymphadenopathy is not “treated” per se but is resolved by treating the underlying condition.

Symptoms of lymphadenopathy can respond to certain home or over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. These include cold compresses and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve (naproxen) and Advil (ibuprofen), both of which can relieve pain and inflammation. Rest is also vital if an infection is involved.

In cases of advanced breast cancer, the axillary lymph nodes are removed as part of a radical or modified mastectomy.

A Word From Verywell

A swollen lymph node is not an uncommon condition but should never be ignored if it is persistent, severe, or unexplained. When seeing a doctor, provide as much information about what you have been doing or experiencing prior to the onset of lymphadenopathy. The more the doctor knows, the sooner a diagnosis can be made.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Gaddey HL, Riegel AM. Unexplained lymphadenopathy: Evaluation and differential diagnosis. Am Fam Physician. 2016 Dec 1;94(11):896-903.

  2. Net JM, Mirpuri TM, Plaza MJ, et al. Resident and fellow education feature: US evaluation of axillary lymph nodes. Radiographics. 2014;34(7):1817-8. doi:10.1148/rg.347140081

  3. Mohseni S, Shojaiefard A, Khorgami Z, Alinejad S, Ghorbani A, Ghafouri A. Peripheral lymphadenopathy: approach and diagnostic tools. Iran J Med Sci. 2014;39(2 Suppl):158-70.

  4. Mantis J, Ali Y, Junejo SZ. Cat-Scratch Disease in an AIDS patient presenting with generalized lymphadenopathy: An unusual presentation with delayed diagnosis. Am J Case Rep. 2018;19:906–911. doi:10.12659/AJCR.909325

  5. Park JE, Sohn YM, Kim EK. Sonographic findings of axillary masses: What can be imaged in this space?. J Ultrasound Med. 2013;32(7):1261-70. doi:10.7863/ultra.32.7.1261

  6. Plesca M, Bordea C, El Houcheimi B, Ichim E, Blidaru A. Evolution of radical mastectomy for breast cancer. J Med Life. 2016;9(2):183-6.

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Enlarged Axillary Lymph Nodes – Breastlink

Enlarged axillary lymph nodes can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, including breast cancer. If you, or a loved one, notice swelling and/or feel a solid mass in the armpit area please contact a medical professional.

The Lymphatic System

The human circulatory system includes the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems, two networks that play complementary roles. As you may recall from a high school biology class, the cardiovascular system consists of arteries and veins. Arteries transfer blood, enriched with oxygen and fuel, to cells. Veins return blood, carrying carbon dioxide, back to the lungs.

The lymphatic system is a nearly parallel structure and plays a critical role in the body’s immune system. The lymphatic system moves lymph between tissue and the bloodstream via lymph ducts, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and organs. It also includes adenoids, the spleen, the thymus and tonsils.

  • Lymph: a clear-to-white fluid made up of white blood cells that attack bacteria found in the bloodstream. Lymph can also be found in the intestines (chyle), where they hold proteins and fats.
  • Lymph Nodes (Lymph Glands): are found throughout the human body (behind breast tissue, arm tissue, leg tissue, etc. ) and are linked together through lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes screen and/or remove foreign substances (for example, substances secreted from bacteria, called antigens).

If the lymph nodes detect an unrecognizable substance they will create an antibody, which flows in blood circulation to target and destroy the foreign material in cells throughout the body.

Swollen lymph nodes are a sign they are making infection-fighting white blood cells to combat a recognized threat to the body. The threat can range from something relatively trivial, such as a cold or throat infection, to something far more serious, such as cancer. Understanding the health of the lymphatic system can play a crucial role in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer tumors.

Enlarged Axillary Lymph Nodes

The axillary (arm pit) lymph nodes filter and/or trap lymph from the arm, chest wall and breast. It is often difficult to feel normal axillary lymph nodes. Not all enlarged axillary lymph nodes feel the same. It is also important to mention that enlarged axillary lymph nodes are not necessarily a sign of cancer. However, we strongly advise you to consult with a medical provider if you are concerned about enlarged axillary lymph nodes.

Enlarged axillary lymph nodes may stem from a range of causes. If a patient does not have cancer, some of the local, non-cancerous causes of enlarged axillary lymph nodes include:

  • An injury to the armpit, arm or hand (almost always non-cancerous).
  • Localized infection or hydradenitits.
  • Brucellois (also known as Undulant fever, Malta fever and/or Mediterranean fever): a bacteria disease picked up from contact with dogs, cows, goats, pigs or other mammals. Brucellois can be contracted consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Cat Scratch Disease: cats infected with bartonellahenselae can transfer the bacteria to humans by piercing their skin (bite or scratch). The illness may result in fatigue, a fever, headache(s) and a loss of appetite. Most of the time the body can expunge the infection without medical treatment.
  • Silicone breast implants: a reaction by the lymphatic system to the placement of a foreign substance (including the small possibility of a silicone leak).

Systematic, non-cancerous causes of enlarged axillary lymph nodes include:

  • Viral infections: mononucleosis, chicken pox, measles, HIV/AIDS and others.
  • Bacterial: tuberculosis, etc.
  • Fungal.
  • Temporary side effects from a vaccination.

Enlarged axillary lymph nodes can be a symptom of the following local or metastasized (systematic) cancer maladies:

  • A tumor in or near the axillary lymph node.
  • Leukemia.
  • Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
  • Melanoma.

Enlarged Axillary Lymph Nodes and Breast Cancer

Approximately 75 percent of lymph found in the breasts drain into the axillary lymph nodes. As such, the detection of enlarged axillary lymph nodes, especially nodes that are hard to the touch, can play an important factor in the diagnosis, and staging, of breast cancer.

Not all cases of breast cancer result in enlarged axillary lymph nodes. However, the observation of enlarged axillary lymph nodes is a strong signal that breast cancer may be at a more advanced stage. The detection of cancer in the lymph nodes is one of three central determinants breast cancer doctors consider to evaluate the stage of a breast cancer tumor(s). The other two are the size of breast cancer tumor and whether it has spread to other areas of the body.

There are five options to categorize the influence of breast cancer in the axillary lymph nodes:

  • NX: lymph nodes cannot be clinically evaluated.
  • N0: no identifiable cancer in the axillary lymph nodes.
  • N1: cancer is present in the axillary lymph nodes. However, it is not attached to the chest wall or between different axillary lymph nodes.
  • N2: cancer is identified in the axillary lymph nodes. The cancer has linked between different axillary lymph nodes and/or the chest wall.
  • N3: in addition to N2, cancer has spread above and below the collarbone.

To clarify the axillary lymph node status a sentinel node biopsy may be performed. This is a surgical technique that injects a radioactive blue dye into the site of the breast cancer tumor. The dye helps surgeons identify the closest lymph nodes to the breast cancer site.

  • The axillary lymph nodes nearest to the breast cancer site are removed and biopsied for cancer.
  • If cancer is not detected the remaining axillary lymph nodes are not removed.
  • If cancer is detected additional axillary lymph nodes are removed and biopsied.

A Consultation for Enlarged Axillary Lymph Nodes

If you or a loved one is concerned about enlarged axillary lymph nodes, please contact one of our centers for a consultation. Whether you need us now or later, we are always here for you.

Lymph Nodes – Swollen

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • Increased size of one or more lymph nodes. Most are in the neck.
  • Also, includes swollen lymph nodes in the armpit or groin
  • It’s larger than the same node on the other side of the body
  • Normal nodes are usually less than ½ inch (12 mm) across. This is the size of a pea or baked bean.

Causes of Swollen Lymph Nodes

  • Neck Nodes. The cervical (neck) nodes are most commonly involved. This is because of the many respiratory infections that occur during childhood.
  • Viral Throat Infection. This is the most common cause of swollen nodes in the neck. The swollen nodes are usually ½ to 1 inch (12 -25 mm) across. They are the same on each side.
  • Bacterial Throat Infection. A swollen node with a bacterial throat infection is usually just on one side. It can be quite large; over 1 inch (25 mm) across. This is about the size of a quarter. Most often, it’s the node that drains the tonsil.
  • Tooth Decay or Abscess. This causes a swollen, tender node under the jawbone. Only one node is involved. The lower face may also be swollen on that side.
  • Armpit Swollen Nodes. Causes include skin infections (such as impetigo). A rash (such as poison ivy) can do the same.
  • Groin Swollen Nodes. Causes include skin infections (such as athlete’s foot). A retained foreign object (such as a sliver) can be the cause.
  • Shaving. Teen girls can cause low-grade infections when shaving the legs.
  • Widespread Swollen Nodes. Swollen nodes everywhere suggest an infection spread in the blood. An example is infectious mono. Widespread rashes such as eczema can also cause all the nodes to enlarge.
  • Normal Nodes. Lymph nodes can always be felt in the neck and groin. They are about the size of a bean. They never go away.

Lymph Nodes: What They Drain

  • The lymph nodes are filled with white blood cells. They filter the lymph fluid coming from certain parts of the body. They fight infections.
  • Neck Nodes in Front. These drain the nose, throat and lower face.
  • Neck Nodes in Back. These drain the scalp.
  • Armpit Nodes. These drain the arms and upper chest wall.
  • Groin Nodes. These drain the legs and lower stomach wall.

Common Objects Used to Guess the Size

  • Pea or pencil eraser: ¼ inch or 6 mm
  • Dime: ¾ inch or 1.8 cm
  • Quarter: 1 inch or 2.5 cm
  • Golf ball: 1 ½ inches or 3.8 cm
  • Tennis Ball: 2 ½ inches or 6.4 cm

When to Call for Lymph Nodes – Swollen

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Node in the neck causes trouble with breathing, swallowing or drinking
  • Fever over 104° F (40° C)
  • Skin over the node is red
  • Node gets much bigger over 6 hours or less
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • 1 or more inches (2. 5 cm or more) in size by measurement
  • Very tender to the touch
  • Age less than 3 months old
  • Node limits moving the neck, arm or leg
  • Toothache with a swollen node under the jawbone
  • Fever lasts more than 3 days
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • In the neck and also has a sore throat
  • Large nodes at 2 or more parts of the body
  • Cause of the swollen node is not clear
  • Large node lasts more than 1 month
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Mildly swollen lymph node

Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

Care Advice for Small Lymph Nodes

  1. What You Should Know About Normal Nodes:
    • If you have found a pea-sized or bean-sized node, this is normal. Normal lymph nodes are smaller than ½ inch or 12 mm.
    • Don’t look for lymph nodes, because you can always find some. They are easy to find in the neck and groin.
  2. What You Should Know About Swollen Nodes from a Viral Infection:
    • Viral throat infections and colds can cause lymph nodes in the neck to get bigger. They may double in size. They may also become tender.
    • This reaction is normal. It means the lymph node is fighting the infection and doing a good job.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  3. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  4. Fever Medicine:
    • For fevers above 102° F (39° C), give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Note: Fevers less than 102° F (39° C) are important for fighting infections.
    • For all fevers: Keep your child well hydrated. Give lots of cold fluids.
  5. Do Not Squeeze:
    • Don’t squeeze lymph nodes.
    • Reason: This may keep them from shrinking back to normal size.
  6. Return to School:
    • Swollen lymph nodes alone cannot be spread to others.
    • If the swollen nodes are with a viral illness, your child can return to school. Wait until after the fever is gone. Your child should feel well enough to participate in normal activities.
  7. What to Expect:
    • After the infection is gone, the nodes slowly return to normal size.
    • This may take 2 to 4 weeks.
    • However, they won’t ever completely go away.
  8. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Node gets 1 inch (2.5 cm) or larger in size
    • Big node lasts more than 1 month
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the ‘Call Your Doctor’ symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 04/08/2021

Last Revised: 03/11/2021

Copyright 2000-2021. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

90,000 Recommendations for hands and arms after removal of axillary lymph nodes

Learn how to prevent infection and reduce hand and arm swelling after axillary lymph node surgery.

to come back to the beginning

Information on the lymphatic system

Figure 1. Lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels

Your lymphatic system has two functions:

  • Helps fight infections.
  • Promotes the elimination of fluid from the body.

Your lymphatic system is made up of lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels, and lymph fluid (see Figure 1).

  • Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands located along the lymph vessels. Your lymph nodes filter the lymph fluid, trapping bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and metabolic waste.
  • Lymphatic vessels are tiny tubes, similar to blood vessels, through which lymphatic fluid flows to and from the lymph nodes.
  • Lymphatic fluid is a clear fluid that travels through the lymphatic system. It carries cells that help fight infections and other diseases.

Axillary lymph nodes are a group of lymph nodes in the area of ​​your armpit that drain lymph fluid away from your breast and arm.
The number of nodes is different for all people.
Removal of axillary lymph nodes is an operation to remove a group of these nodes.

to come back to the beginning

Lymphedema Information

Sometimes, as a result of the removal of the lymph nodes, it becomes difficult for the lymphatic system to cope with the excretion of fluid.In this case, lymphatic fluid builds up and causes swelling. This swelling is called lymphedema. Lymphedema can form in the arm, hand, breast, or trunk on the side where the lymph nodes were removed (called the treated side).

Signs of lymphedema

Lymphedema can develop suddenly or gradually and may occur months or years after surgery. Watch for signs of lymphedema, which include:

  • Feeling of heaviness, aches or pains in the breast, arm, hand or fingers;
  • Tightness of the skin of the arm, hand or breast;
  • Decreased flexibility in the arm, hand, or fingers;
  • Swelling or changes in the skin such as tightness or depressions (when pressure marks on the skin).If you develop swelling, you may notice the following:
    • Veins on the treated side of the hand are less visible than on the other hand;
    • Rings on the finger (s) of the treated side are tighter or not worn;
    • The sleeve of the shirt on the treated side sits tighter than usual.

If you have any signs of lymphedema or are in doubt, talk to your doctor or nurse.If you do not have signs of lymphedema, you can measure the blood pressure on the treated side.

to come back to the beginning

Prevention of lymphedema

It is important to prevent infection and swelling to reduce the risk of lymphedema.

Prevention of the development of infection

You are more likely to develop lymphedema if your arm on the treated side has an infection. This is because your body will produce extra white blood cells and lymph fluid to fight the infection, and this fluid will not be excreted properly.

A cut or burn on the hand or arm on the side where the surgery was performed may lead to infection. To reduce your risk of infection, follow these tips:

  • Use lotion or cream to keep your hands and cuticles soft. Do not trim the cuticles with scissors; it is better to move them aside with a special cuticle stick.
  • Wear protective gloves when doing yard or garden work, washing dishes and using strong detergents or wire scouring pads.
  • Put on a thimble while sewing; avoid needles and pins.
  • Use insect repellent to prevent insect bites.
  • Be careful when shaving the armpit area of ​​the arm at risk; consider using an electric shaver. Do not use a straight razor or hair removal cream (depilatory), they can cut your skin.
  • Watch out for sunburn. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it often.
Cuts and Scratches Care
  1. Wash the affected area with soap and water.
  2. Apply an antibiotic ointment, such as Bacitracin ® or Neosporin ® .
  3. Place a clean gauze pad or Band-Aid ® on top.
  4. Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, heating of surrounding tissue, or tenderness.
Burn Care
  1. Apply an ice pack or cold water to the burn for 15 minutes.
  2. Wash area with soap and water.
  3. Place a clean gauze pad or Band-Aid ® on top.
  4. Watch for signs of infection, including redness, swelling, heating of surrounding tissue, or tenderness.

Prevention of edema

Immediately after operation

Immediately after surgery, your arm may be slightly swollen. This swelling may persist for 6 weeks, but it is temporary and will gradually disappear.After surgery, you may also have pain and other sensations such as tingling and pinching.
These are typical sensations and are not necessarily signs of lymphedema.

The following recommendations will help relieve swelling:

  • Continue to exercise 5 times a day or as directed. Train the arm until the normal range of motion of the shoulder and arm is restored. This may take 4-6 weeks after surgery.It may be helpful to stretch for even longer if you feel a pull in your chest or close to your arm. If normal range of motion does not return after 4-6 weeks, call your doctor or nurse.
  • Slowly open your hand and extend your fingers. Close your hand gently and make a fist. Repeat this exercise 10 times and then rest. Repeat this exercise several times a day.
  • If you are sleeping on your back, raise your arm by placing 1 or 2 pillows under it on the side of you.If you are able to sleep on the unaffected side, place 1 or 2 pillows in front of you. Place your hand on these pillows. If you have undergone breast plastic surgery, make sure that your arm does not rise above the level that is set for you.
Long-term perspective

There is no reliable way to prevent lymphedema.
However, we recommend that you follow the guidelines below to reduce your risk:

  • When giving blood for analysis or receiving injections in your arm, ask to use a hand that is not at risk of lymphedema.If you have had bilateral surgery to remove your axillary lymph nodes, talk to your doctor about which hand is safer to use.
  • When resuming exercise and daily activities after surgery, be sure to do so gradually. First, wear something heavy with your unaffected hand or with both hands until you regain strength on the side where the operation was performed.
  • Train and stretch your muscles regularly.
    If you feel uncomfortable, stop and take a break.Check with your doctor before resuming vigorous physical activity such as lifting weights or playing tennis.
  • Maintain or strive to achieve a healthy body weight.
  • Do not wear tight-fitting or heavy jewelry or clothing with tight elastic bands that leave marks on your hand. All of these can cause swelling.
  • Do not use heating pads or hot compresses on an arm or shoulder that is at risk.
  • If you have swelling in your arm or hand, write down when the process started. If it persists after 1 week, call your doctor or nurse.
  • If any part of the arm, hand, breast, or torso on the affected side of the treatment becomes:
    • Hot to the touch
    • red;
    • more painful;
    • more swollen
  • if you have a fever of 101º F (38.3º C) or higher.patients with the disease begins acutely, there is a significant increase in temperature, headache, weakness, muscle and joint pain, sleep and appetite are disturbed. There may be mild chills that alternate with increased sweating. From the first days of the disease, pain in the throat worsened, which intensifies when swallowing. At the same time, hyperplasia of the lymph nodes and difficulty in nasal breathing are observed. The most vividly listed symptoms become pronounced by the 4th-5th day of illness; in the same period, an increase in the size of the liver and spleen is determined, atypical mononuclear cells appear in the blood.
    In some cases, there may be a subacute onset of the disease with prodromal phenomena: against the background of general malaise, subfebrile body temperature, mild catarrhal changes in the upper respiratory tract are noted.
    In some patients, the leading complaint is abdominal pain, more often in the right iliac region, sometimes nausea and vomiting, bloating, stool retention or diarrhea are observed.
    The disease can develop unnoticed; at the same time, the first symptom that makes the patient see a doctor is an enlarged lymph node

    However, the most characteristic symptoms of infectious mononucleosis are: fever, tonsillitis, generalized lysradenopathy and hepatosppenomealia.

    The temperature response is very variable and can persist from 1-2 days to 3 weeks or longer. In 1/3 of patients in the first days, the body temperature is subfebrile and clearly rises to 38 “C and higher only by the end of the first week of the disease. Higher and prolonged fever is noted in adults and older children. In some patients, there is two- and three-wave fever with periods of apyrexia of several days The average duration of fever is 6-10 days
    There is no typical temperature curve for infectious mononucleosis.The body temperature decreases more often lytically, which coincides with an improvement in the general condition and with a decrease in the severity of other symptoms of the disease. It should be noted that after the main wave of fever, subfebrile body temperature often persists.
    The temperature reaction is combined with other symptoms, primarily with changes in the pharynx. A slight hyperemia in the pharynx and hyperplasia of the tonsils are observed in many patients from the first days of the disease. Often these changes are combined with damage to the nasopharynx.Clinically, this is manifested by difficulty in nasal breathing and a nasal tone of voice. At the same time, there is a significant swelling of the palatine tonsils, which may come into contact with each other. If it is possible to examine the posterior wall of the pharynx, then its edema and hyperemia with symptoms of hyperplasia of the lymphoid tissue are found; in some patients, the back wall of the pharynx may be covered with thick mucus. 3-4 days after the onset of the disease, loose, curdled deposits of various sizes appear on the tonsils, easily removed with a spatula.In some cases, plaque can be localized on the back of the pharynx, at the root of the tongue, and even on the epiglottis. Changes in the pharynx are accompanied by fever. The duration of the lesion of the pharynx is 10-15 days; with timely and adequate treatment, angina passes faster.
    In patients with removed tonsils, the reaction of the lymphoid tissue of the pharynx manifests itself as an increase in the lateral ridges and granules of the posterior pharyngeal wall.
    Temperature reaction and changes in the pharynx are combined with the development of lymphadenopathy.Often all the lymph nodes are enlarged, but the most pronounced is the increase in the cervical lymph nodes, especially those located along the posterior edge of the sternocleidomastoid muscle; they can be in the form of a chain or a package. In children of younger preschool age, lymph nodes can form large conglomerates up to 4-6 cm in diameter. In school-age children and adults, lymph nodes increase up to 2-3 cm, creating a “scalloped” outline of the contours of the neck. Sometimes adults may have a slight swelling of the lymph nodes that goes unnoticed.
    Enlarged lymph nodes almost do not cause pain, are not welded to each other and the surrounding tissue. On palpation, they are “juicy”, densely elastic, mobile. Periadenitis, skin redness and suppurative processes are never observed. Swollen lymph nodes may be the first sign of illness. Streets suffering from chronic tonsillitis, early enlargement of the lymph nodes located at the corner of the mandible.
    At the same time, other groups of lymph nodes – axillary, cubital and inguinal (less often – mesenteric or mediastinal) can be enlarged.With an increase in mediastinal lymph nodes, patients may be disturbed by cough, pain in the heart of varying intensity and duration.
    The enlargement of the lymph nodes persists for 1-2 weeks, and sometimes moderate lymphadenopathy is observed for 1.5-2 months more.
    On the 3rd-4th day of illness, the liver and spleen are enlarged. Hepatomegaly is accompanied by a feeling of heaviness in the right hypochondrium, weakness, decreased appetite, sometimes nausea, less often vomiting. Moderate hyperbilirubinemia, increased activity of ALT, thymol test are often noted.l, the number of lymphocytes, monocytes and plasma cells increases, peculiar atypical mononuclear cells appear, characterized by large polymorphism in shape and structure.

    In most cases, atypical mononuclear cells are found in the blood in the early days of the disease, but especially their number increases at the height of the disease. Less often, the appearance of mononuclear cells can be noted on the 8-11th days of the disease. These cells persist for several weeks, but gradually their number decreases.
    Among “white blood” cells, the proportion of mononuclear cells ranges from 10 to 50% and more. In some cases, at the height of the disease, all mononuclear cells can be atypical, and their number correlates with the severity of the disease.
    Infectious mononucleosis in most patients ends with recovery after 2-4 weeks. However, in some patients, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, atypical mononuclear cells in the blood persist for a long time, which indicates a protracted, and possibly chronic course of the infection.The latter is characterized by persistent lymphadenopathy and EBV-hepatitis, splenomegaly, interstitial pneumonia, bone marrow hypoplasia, and sometimes uveitis.

    Disseminated (septic) EBV infection occurs on the background of severe immunosuppression in AIDS patients, during organ transplantation and is characterized by poor outcomes.
    Complications of infectious mononucleosis proceeding against the background of immunodeficiency can be by their nature: hematological (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, granulocytopenia, rupture of the spleen), cardiological (pericarditis, myocarditis) and neurological (meningitis, meningoelitis.
    Diagnostics. Clinical diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis using hemogram data does not allow definitive verification of the etiology of the disease. For this, immunochemical (ELISA) and molecular biological (PCR, RT-PCR, hybridization) diagnostic methods are currently used. The previously widely used heteroagglutination reactions – Paul-Bunnel, Hoff-Bauer, Lovrik-Wolner have largely lost their significance.
    Treatment. Patients with moderate, severe and complicated forms of infection are hospitalized in an infectious diseases hospital.
    Patients who are on outpatient treatment are recommended to bed rest, a gentle diet, oral care (rinsing with furacilin solution, iodinol, sodium bicarbonate, etc.), multivitamins with trace elements, herbal remedies with antioxidant and immunostimulating effects (echinacea, licorice root Icelandic tsetraria, coats of arms of arin).

    At febrile body temperature, antipyretic drugs (Panadol, paracetamol, etc.) are prescribed. Desensitizing therapy is performed.Antibiotics are used only when complicated by a secondary bacterial infection (follicular, lacunar tonsillitis, pneumonia). Prescribe antibiotic therapy taking into account the suspected pathogen. In case of infection of the oral cavity, macrolides, penicillins, tetracyclines are used, if necessary in combination with trichopolum, taking into account the possible streptococcal and anaerobic nature of the complication.
    It is not recommended to use chloramphenicol and sulfa drugs due to their adverse effect on bone marrow hematopoiesis.

    Of the antiviral drugs active against EBV, acyclovir is used at a dose of 800 mg 5 times a day orally or 5 mg / kg every 8 hours intravenously.
    If AC is ineffective in severe cases of the disease, vidarabine is prescribed at a dose of 7.5-15 mg / kg / day intravenously in a large volume of isotonic solution (1.5-2.5 l) or foscarnet 60 mg / kg 3 times a day intravenous drip followed by a transition to the introduction of the drug at a dose of 90-120 mg / kg / day.
    The use of lobucavir, brivudine and cidofovir for this infection is being investigated.
    The administration of cortikosteroid hormones is undesirable.
    Prevention. Hospitalization of patients is carried out according to clinical indications. Anti-epidemic measures in the outbreak are not carried out. After the transferred infectious mononucleosis, the patient is undergoing dispensary observation by an infectious disease specialist and a hematologist for 6 months, with obligatory laboratory examination (hemogram, liver function tests).
    Since the acute phase of HIV infection has a symptom complex similar to infectious mononucleosis, it is recommended to test convalescents for HIV after 3 and 6 months.

    Inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpit | WMJ.ru

    What to do in such a situation – to immediately run to the clinic or try to find out the nature of the “behavior” of the lymphatic system on your own? First of all, you need to understand how it works and as a result of which the nodes turn into painful formations.

    On guard of health

    Lymph nodes are a kind of biological filters located throughout the body, either singly or in clusters.Lymph, better known in the common people as the ichor, absorbs harmful infections and microbes throughout the body and brings them to the nodes that are an obstacle to the vital organs.

    Nature has disposed very wisely, placing its “defenders” throughout the body, which allows us to consider them one of the most important organs of the human immune system. Thus, inflammation of the lymph nodes in the armpits should be taken, rather, as a good sign, because it, in fact, indicates health problems that a person might not even know about.

    Why are the lymph nodes in the armpits inflamed?

    There are a number of causes of swollen lymph nodes. Diseases include immune, infectious and oncological diseases.

    Immune diseases

    • Systemic lupus erythematosus – damage to capillaries and connective tissues.

    • Angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy is a disease of the lungs.

    • Rheumatoid arthritis is a joint disease.

    • Dermatomyositis is a serious disease of the connective tissues.

    • Serum sickness – an immune response to foreign proteins.

    • Reaction to certain medicinal products.

    Infectious diseases

    Each lymph node serves a specific part of the body. The lymph nodes in the armpit are mainly designed to protect the fingers and hands of a person, preventing the infection present here from moving further through the body.

    • Purulent processes resulting from the inflammation of wounds provide a fertile ground for the multiplication of millions of microbes that enter the lymph and can cause acute lymphadenitis. How does this happen? For example: a cut, bite, or even a banal scratch on a finger or hand was not treated in a timely manner, as a result of which the inflammatory process began. Redness and inflammation form around the wound, which, without the use of drugs, begins to rise up the arm and pose a direct threat to human life and health.

    At this moment, the protection in the form of lymph nodes begins to act – first in the elbow, and then in the axillary. But even such a powerful barrier has weaknesses, and without proper treatment, the nodes themselves turn into a focus of the disease. In such advanced cases, the resulting cavity filled with pus is opened in order to prevent rupture, the consequences of which can lead to severe complications in the form of phlegmon – an acute diffuse purulent inflammation of the cellular space, which can not only spread to neighboring organs, but also lead to blood poisoning.

    • Cat scratch disease (fever) is a common cause of armpit lymph node inflammation, especially in children. The name of this acute infectious disease is directly related to the four-legged friends of the feline family, as it occurs as a result of scratches and cat bites, and most often the hands and fingers of a person suffer from them.

    • The child’s body, like litmus paper, presents inflamed lymph nodes to parents in various infectious diseases, trying to draw attention to the baby’s health problems as early as possible.

    Enlarged lymph nodes | Prima Medica

    When lymph nodes are involved in the painful process, most often:
    Swollen lymph nodes You may feel an enlarged lymph node the size of a pea or bean, or even larger. Both single and multiple lymph nodes throughout the body can be enlarged.
    Single lymph nodes in the submandibular, cervical and occipital regions are enlarged to the size of a bean, elastic, moderately painful Runny nose, sore throat, headache, fever, muscle pain, and other signs of an upper respiratory infection SARS or colds
    Few lymph nodes in the submandibular region, the parotid region or the upper third of the neck, varying degrees of density and soreness, up to 1-1.5 cm in size, long-existing, increasing in size against the background of ARVI Frequent SARS, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, dental problems Chronic infection of the oral cavity and ENT organs: chronic tonsillitis, pharyngitis, dental caries, chronic inflammatory odontogenic processes, odontogenic cysts
    Multiple lymph nodes in the submandibular, cervical, occipital, inguinal, etc.areas enlarged to the size of beans, soft, more often painless Weakness, fever, possibly an enlarged liver and / or spleen, and a skin rash Acute and chronic viral infections, toxoplasmosis, severe parasitic infestations
    Various symptoms depending on the specific disease – joint pain, fever, skin rashes, abdominal pain, increased pressure, etc. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, periarteritis nodosa or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
    Symptoms are absent, or not associated with the fact of enlarged lymph nodes Long-term use of certain medications, such as allopurinol, atenolol, captopril, enalopril (less often), carbamazepine, some antibiotics; sulfonamides; phenytoin, etc.
    A single dense, painful lymph node, most often in the submandibular region, upper third of the neck, axillary region Symptoms of the inflammatory process of varying severity – from diffuse edema and redness of the skin over the lymph node, fever, various severity of local pain.More often – the source of inflammation is obvious. Regional lymphadenitis, the presence of an entrance gate of infection in the form of damage to the skin of the hands with axillary lymphadenitis, carious teeth with submandibular lymphadenitis, inflammation of the tonsils with cervical lymphadenitis.
    An enlarged single lymph node or several nearby lymph nodes. The nodes are dense, often completely painless, inactive due to the fact that they are soldered to the surrounding tissue or to each other.The localization of the enlarged lymph nodes can be any, in particular – the axillary region, the lower third of the neck, the supraclavicular region. Additional symptoms may be absent, or be represented by general clinical symptoms such as weight loss, fever, weakness, itching, excessive sweating, or local symptoms such as pain, induration and deformation of the affected organ, swelling of the limb, etc. Often – such an increase in lymph nodes is a sign of a tumor of the lymphatic system, such as lymphoma (in particular, Hodgkin’s lymphoma), or tumors of internal organs (stomach, intestines, reproductive sphere, etc.).).
    Compaction of lymph nodes You can feel for a lymph node or multiple nodes, which can be of varying degrees of density: both soft and barely visible to the touch, or as dense as wood or stone.
    Dense, most often painless, non-displaceable lymph nodes of any location, especially in unusual places such as the lower neck, armpits Additional complaints may either be completely absent or be presented by general symptoms (weakness, sweating, fever, weight loss, itching of the skin, rash), or local signs (soreness when squeezing, swelling of surrounding tissues and limbs; changes in the skin over the lymph nodes and etc.). First of all, it is necessary to exclude the presence of a tumor, the localization of which can be removed from the enlarged lymph nodes. Also, the diagnostic search includes infections such as tuberculosis and syphilis.
    Sore lymph nodes Enlarged lymph nodes may or may not be painful. Soreness of the lymph nodes can be associated with both inflammation and rapid growth due to stretching of the node capsule, as well as squeezing of the surrounding tissues and nerve endings.
    A single dense lymph node, sharply painful when touched, the skin over the node is reddened and hot to the touch. Most often, the entrance gate of infection is obvious: a sore throat with an enlarged lymph node in the neck, damage to the skin on an arm or leg, felon, etc. Infectious lymphadenitis, if you do not seek immediate medical attention, may require surgical treatment.
    One or more dense lymph nodes, painless or slightly painful when palpating, often soldered together and inactive, or completely not displaced when palpating, the skin over the nodes is not changed. Additional complaints may be completely absent or present as general symptoms (weakness, sweating, fever, weight loss, itching of the skin, rash). Local symptoms are not common, but can be caused by compression of the surrounding tissue (soreness, swelling). Often – such an increase in lymph nodes is a sign of a tumor of the lymphatic system, such as lymphoma (in particular – Hodgkin’s lymphoma), or tumors of internal organs (stomach, intestines, reproductive sphere, etc.).
    Several dense lymph nodes, painless or slightly painful when palpating, unsoldered to each other, mobile, which are sometimes compared to “potatoes in a bag”. Additional complaints may be either completely absent or present as general symptoms (weakness, fever, cough, weight loss, etc.).The skin over the nodes may not be changed, or have a bluish tint, be fused with the lymph nodes, external fistulas with cheesy discharge may form. A rare condition in our time – tuberculosis of the lymph nodes. However, in connection with the massive refusals of vaccination and uncontrolled migration from regions unfavorable for tuberculosis, one should not forget about the likelihood of this disease.
    A single painless densely elastic lymph node, movable on palpation, ranging in size from 1 to 3 and even 5 cm, the skin above it is not changed. The most common localization is in the groin, cervical or submandibular region, which depends on the entrance gate of the infection. The entrance gate of infection can most often be localized on the genitals, in the anus, in the mouth, on the tonsils and represent a dense painless ulcer with a whitish bottom. Sometimes, on examination, the ulcer is in the healing phase and is difficult to notice. Primary syphilis. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon in our time.Urgently see a doctor! At this stage, the disease is easily cured.
    Additional features Additional signs may be changes in the skin over the lymph nodes, the presence of additional symptoms, both local and general, as well as the characteristics of the patient’s life, his age, heredity, professional activity and travel. An experienced physician should evaluate a holistic picture of changes in the body of a patient who has complained of enlarged lymph nodes.Most often, you need to see a therapist, pediatrician, or general practitioner. After examination and initial examination, the patient is assigned dynamic observation, treatment, or additional consultations of narrow specialists. Depending on the picture of the disease, the patient may need to make an appointment with a hematologist or get a referral to a surgeon, dermatovenerologist, infectious disease specialist, phthisiatrician, ENT, dentist or oncologist.

    Lymph node biopsy – the price of a lymph node puncture in the armpit, on the neck, in the groin in St. Petersburg

    The lymphatic system filters the fluid around the cells.Lymph nodes are part of the immune system. They are found on the neck, behind the ear, underarms, inside the chest, abdomen and groin.

    Lymph nodes are small glands that produce white blood cells (lymphocytes) that fight infection. They can trap germs that cause infection. Tumor cells can also spread through the lymphatic system.

    Lymph nodes in healthy people are usually poorly felt. When people talk about swollen glands in the neck, they usually mean enlarged lymph nodes.The main areas where lymph nodes are easily felt, especially if they are enlarged, are:

    • groin,
    • armpits (armpit),
    • above the clavicle (supraclavicular group of nodes),
    • on the neck (cervical nodes) and on the back of the head,
    • just above the hairline (occipital group).

    But with various pathologies, the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits or groin can enlarge and become painful.Swollen lymph nodes usually mean an infection. But their increase can also be caused by skin cuts, deep scratches or insect bites, tattooing, drug reactions, or cancer. For persistent enlargement, the doctor will recommend a lymph node biopsy.

    Indications for biopsy, lymph node puncture

    Usually a lymph node biopsy (or several) is performed for:

    • Determine the cause of enlarged lymph nodes that do not return to normal size on their own or after treatment.
    • Determining the cause of symptoms, such as ongoing fever, night sweats, or weight loss.
    • Tests to see if a known cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This is called staging and is used to plan cancer treatment.
    • Removal of a cancerous tumor that has spread to the nodes.

    Contraindications

    The list of contraindications for the procedure is small. So, a biopsy of the lymph nodes of the neck is not performed in case of severe deformity of the spine with the development of pathological kyphosis (forward bending).In addition, puncture of the lymph node or other options for sampling is not performed in case of severe disorders of the blood coagulation system due to the risk of profuse bleeding. Also, biopsy of the lymph nodes will be temporarily prohibited in the presence of purulent lesions, infection or various skin rashes in the area of ​​the site of material sampling.

    Relative contraindications may include infections, fever, pregnancy and some other conditions, which are determined by the doctor.

    Methods of biopsy sampling

    There are several ways to get a lymph node biopsy.A sample of cells from the lymph node will be examined under a microscope for various problems. There are several options for obtaining biomaterial:

    • Fine needle biopsy of lymph nodes (aspiration) . The doctor uses a fine needle inserted into the nodule to remove a sample of cells for later evaluation.
    • Biopsy with thick rod needle . Surgeons insert a needle with a special tip, take a tissue sample about 3-5 mm in diameter.
    • Open lymph node biopsy (surgical) .The doctor will make a small incision in the skin and remove the lymph node (lymph node excisional biopsy). If more than one lymph node is taken, a biopsy is called a lymph node dissection. An open biopsy and lymph node dissection allows your doctor to take a larger sample than a lymph node puncture.

    Sometimes, if the sampling site is inconvenient enough, a lymph node puncture is performed under ultrasound control.

    Preparation

    For a biopsy of a lymph node in the neck, puncture of the supraclavicular lymph node, axillary lymph nodes or in the groin, any other place, some preparation is required.You need to inform the doctor if:

    • you are taking any medications or dietary supplements, medicinal herbs;
    • are allergic to certain drugs, including anesthetics;
    • Previously experienced latex reaction;
    • Drink blood thinners constantly or if you have had bleeding problems;
    • are pregnant or there is a high probability of pregnancy.

    If you are taking blood thinners, you may need to stop taking it one week before the biopsy.If the lymph node biopsy will be performed under local anesthesia, you do not need to do anything to prepare.

    If the procedure is to be performed under general anesthesia (mediastinal lymph node biopsy, breast lymph node biopsy), be sure to follow the instructions on when to stop eating and drinking, otherwise the operation may be canceled. On the eve of the intervention, ultrasound, X-ray or blood and urine tests are sometimes prescribed.

    How is

    conducted

    Based on the type of procedure, for example, for fine-needle biopsy of the cervical, axillary lymph nodes, puncture of the inguinal lymph nodes the procedure is performed by a surgeon or oncologist, hematologist.If these are deep lymph nodes, CT or ultrasound control is used during material collection. The patient will need to remove all or part of the clothing. If necessary, the body will be covered with disposable sterile sheets. The doctor will pre-anesthetize the place where the needle will be inserted. When the area is numb, the needle is gently inserted through the skin and into the lymph node. Throughout the entire manipulation, the patient’s immobility is important. The doctor receives a tissue sample and slowly removes the needle. A plaster is glued to the puncture site.Fine needle aspiration biopsy takes 5 to 15 minutes.

    Sentinel lymph node biopsy is sometimes performed with a rod needle . It is performed by a general surgeon or oncologist. The doctor will numb the area where the needle will be inserted. After the area is numb, a small incision is made in the skin. A needle with a special tip is passed through the skin into the lymph node. During the procedure, you need to lie still. After insertion of the needle, a sample of cells is taken and the needle is removed.Pressure is applied to the injection site, stopping the blood, an adhesive bandage is applied. A core needle biopsy takes about 20 minutes.

    Open sentinel lymph node biopsy is performed by an oncologist surgeon. To remove lesions near the skin’s surface, the incision site is numbed with a local anesthetic. Sentinel lymph node biopsies deeper in the body or for lymph node dissection may require general anesthesia.

    The patient lies on the surgical table and the body is positioned so that the doctor can take a biopsy sample.The skin over the biopsy site is cleaned with a special solution. The area is covered with a sterile sheet. A small incision will be made so that you can remove all or part of the lymph node. After its removal, the skin is sutured, a bandage is applied, on average, the procedure lasts up to an hour. The patient is placed in a recovery room until fully awake. The next day they let him go home.

    After lymph node biopsy

    After a fine-needle aspiration biopsy of a lymph node in the armpit or puncture of a lymph node in the neck with a rod needle, the area of ​​the fence may be slightly painful for up to 2-3 days.Let’s say a small bruise around the puncture site. If there was general anesthesia for an open biopsy, fatigue may be felt for a couple of days. Throat discomfort is also possible if an anesthetic breathing tube was used. Throat lozenges and gargling with warm salt water may help with sore throat.

    After open biopsy , this area may feel painful, hard, swollen and bruised. Fluid may collect near the biopsy site. An ichor may also leak from the biopsy site.You can use an ice pack or take an over-the-counter pain reliever (not aspirin) to reduce swelling and mild pain. The swelling should go away in about a week, and the bruising usually goes away within 2 weeks. But swelling at the armpit lymph node puncture site or inguinal lymph node biopsy can last from 6 to 8 weeks. You can not lift weights and strain the muscles in this area.

    Biopsy results

    A doctor can do a lymph node puncture to confirm or exclude a diagnosis (infection, immune system problems, oncology).A lymph node biopsy removes tissue that can be examined under a microscope for signs of infection or disease, such as cancer. Lymph node biopsy results are usually prepared within a few days. Some types of infections may take longer to identify. The lymph node sample is usually treated with special dyes that stain the cells and make problems more visible.

    Signs of infection, such as mononucleosis, tuberculosis, may be present in the abnormal node.Cancer cells, including metastases, can be detected.

    In our clinic, you can perform a puncture or excisional biopsy of the lymph node, and the price of the manipulation will be quite affordable. Before carrying out, a doctor’s consultation and examination are required, which can be included in the cost of a lymph node biopsy or are performed separately. More details can be found by calling the clinic or on the website.

    What changes occur in the lymphatic system during HIV infection?

    What changes occur in the lymphatic system during HIV infection?

    AIDS today is one of the most dangerous diseases that affects a person, because it is still impossible to get rid of it completely.But, despite this, scientists are diligently looking for ways to heal from this terrible disease. To understand about infection, you should know the first signs of pathology. One of the first to suffer from HIV is the lymph nodes. What changes are taking place in these structures?

    Lymph nodes in HIV, photos of which can be found on various Internet resources, suffer primarily from infection with the immunodeficiency virus. It is the swelling of these structures that is a characteristic sign of the pathological process. Sometimes this symptom is the only manifestation of AIDS, especially in the early stages.At a doctor’s appointment, many patients are interested in the following questions: how long does it take for the lymph nodes on the human body to become inflamed with HIV (AIDS), what size do they reach, and can these unpleasant manifestations of infection be eliminated?

    The lymphatic system is represented by nodes and vessels that are found in almost every part of the human body. It can be called the main defense mechanism of the body, since it ensures the destruction of foreign elements that penetrate from the outside. These can be various viruses, fungi, bacteria and other pathogens of infectious processes.Getting into the lymph flow, the pathogens will inevitably die.

    It is the above process that explains why every patient infected with HIV (AIDS) has inflamed lymph nodes in the neck and other parts of the body. This condition is usually called reactive lymphadenitis, which can occur in a localized or generalized form. The last type of pathology is observed with immunodeficiency more often, since the virus completely infects the entire human body.

    Also, due to reduced immunity and against the background of inflammatory processes in the internal organs, lymphadenitis can be observed.A more complex disease, accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes in HIV, is lymphoma – a malignant process characterized by the appearance of neoplasms. Against the background of AIDS, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is most often diagnosed in infected patients.

    It is difficult to specify specifically which lymph nodes enlarge and become inflamed in HIV, since the localization of pathological changes can be different. Often, the inguinal, cervical structures, in the armpits are affected.

    Often, HIV-positive people develop lymphadenopathy.This disease is characterized by an increase in lymph nodes in size. With HIV, it is observed in almost every patient. The defeat can be local, when a certain group of structures is involved, or generalized, in which case all parts of the body are affected.

    This pathology is also accompanied by the following clinical signs:

    hepatosplenomegaly – a change in the size of the spleen, liver;

    · sweating, which occurs mainly in the dark;

    · hyperthermia reaching subfebrile values;

    persistent pharyngitis;

    · rapid weight loss for no apparent reason;

    · enlargement of lymph nodes in HIV.

    The appearance of such symptoms should be the reason for visiting a specialist in order to diagnose such changes and prescribe the necessary treatment.

    What to do if the lymph nodes in the neck are inflamed

    Swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, as a rule, occurs as a result of contact with bacteria and viruses. If the enlargement is caused by an infection, it is called lymphadenitis. Less commonly, cancer can be the cause.

    The lymphatic system plays a vital role in maintaining the life of our body and is the main component of our immunity.Lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, chin, underarms, and groin. In some cases, no action is required for treatment and a warm compress is sufficient. Treatment depends on the cause.

    Symptoms

    The lymphatic system includes a network of organs and lymph nodes throughout the body. Most of them are found in the head and neck area. Swollen lymph nodes indicate that something is wrong in the body. The first signs are tenderness, soreness and enlargement of the lymph nodes to the size of a bean and even more.

    Depending on the cause of the onset, the symptoms of the disease can be as follows:

    Runny nose, sore throat, fever and other signs of upper respiratory tract infection.
    Swollen lymph nodes throughout the body may indicate HIV, mononucleosis, or immune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
    Swollen limbs may indicate a blockage of the lymphatic system caused by swellings in the lymph nodes that are deep under the skin and cannot be felt.

    When the treatment of lymph nodes in the neck requires a visit to the doctor

    Lymph nodes return to normal over time if the cause of the enlargement was an infection that responded to treatment. But there are a number of factors in which you should see a doctor:

    • Swelling for no apparent reason
    • Duration 2-4 weeks
    • Nodes are difficult to feel and do not move when pressed
    • With persistent fevers, night sweats and weight loss
    • Accompanied by a sore throat and difficulty swallowing.

    Why are the lymph nodes in the neck inflamed – causes

    Lymph node is a small, round or bean-shaped cluster of cells covered with a connective tissue capsule. Cells are a combination of lymphocytes that produce protein particles that fight viruses and macrophages that break down harmful substances. Lymphocytes and macrophages filter the lymphatic fluid that travels through the body and protects us.

    Lymph nodes are located in groups, each of which serves a specific area of ​​the body.An increase in a specific area may suggest a cause. The most common infection is infection, especially a viral infection, such as the common cold. But there are other types of lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes , such as parasitic or bacterial, which can cause swollen lymph nodes.

    Common infections:

    • Measles
    • Ear infections
    • Tooth infection – abscess
    • Mononucleosis
    • Skin infections
    • HIV

    Atypical infections:

    • Tuberculosis
    • Sexually transmitted infections (syphilis and others)
    • Toxoplasmosis
    • Bacterial infection from cat scratch

    Autoimmune diseases:

    • Lupus
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

    Cancer:

    • Lymphoma
    • Leukemia
    • Other cancers that have spread to lymph node metastases

    Complications

    If infection is the cause and has not been properly treated, complications can arise.

    Formation of an abscess. Localization of the accumulation of pus caused by infection. Pus contains fluid, white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria and other elements that are dangerous to the body. If an abscess occurs, drainage or antibiotic treatment may be required. Significant damage can be done if vital organs are affected.

    Bloodstream infection. Bacterial can occur anywhere in your body and progress to sepsis, caused by significant blood poisoning.Sepsis can lead to multiple organ failure and death. Treatment includes hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.

    Diagnostics

    To diagnose a disease, a doctor may need:

    • Medical history
    • Medical examination
    • Blood test
    • Chest X-ray and Computed Tomography
    • Lymph node biopsy (as a last resort).

    Treatment of lymph nodes in the neck

    If a virus is the cause, the lymph nodes in the neck will recover on their own after the infection itself is treated.But if this does not happen or there is another reason, the following treatment may be required:

    • Infection. The most common treatment for enlarged lymph nodes is antibiotics.