lymph nodes cancer

Cancerous Lymph Nodes

Things You Need to Know Swollen Lymph Nodes

Did you know that about 5% of all cancers is composed of lymph node cancer? Otherwise called lymphoma, this condition influences all kinds of people, usually inside the age scope of 15 to 54. Between the genders however, men are bound to have it.

Lymph nodes are actually glands which resemble tiny beans. They are surrounded by tissues and can be found all over the body. They form clusters in some areas and the biggest groups are found in the neck, the armpit, and the groin.

When functioning normally, these nodules trap and filter virus, bacteria, toxins, and other harmful foreign substances that find their way into the body. Simply put, the lymph nodes are a member of the immune system.

When cancer develops in the body, the lymph nodes suffer.

Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system’s motive behind the lymphatic framework is to battle diseases. It facilitates the distribution of the lymph fluid and white blood cell all over the body.  As you can guess, it can be a huge problem when this system goes down.


Like other kinds of cancer, lymphoma develops when the cells in the body grow out of control.  This overgrowth causes tumors and they are the ones cancerous.  Lymphomas are typically made up of T cells or B cells—both being white blood cells.

There are two basic kinds of lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is also sometimes called Hodgkin’s disease.  It has the same symptoms with the other type but it has a predictable way of going from one node region to the next.  It also responds differently to treatments.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Actually, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be further divided into various lymphomas.  Each can be classified according to the type of cells it has as well as the location in the body. Most of these lymphomas can be found in the lymphatic organs and the lymph nodes.  Since the lymphatic tissues are everywhere in the body, you can conclude that non-Hodgkin’s may develop in the stomach, liver, and other organs in the body.

The largest group of lymph nodes are located in the groin, armpit, and neck. The grouped term for the ones discovered in the neck is cervical lymph nodes and they might swell for different reasons. With that being said, bulging nodules in your neck is not supposed to make you conclude lymph nodes cancer, because really, doing so will just bring you unnecessary stress.

What Do Swollen Lymph Nodes in Groin Imply?

When you have swollen lymph nodes in groin, it is indicative of an underlying problem. Most frequently, it is brought about by a contamination.

First off, lymph nodes are a part of the lymphatic system—a system comprised of lymph ducts, lymph vessels, and spleen. This is the system which produces and transports lymph—a translucent fluid—from the body tissues to the bloodstream. The purpose of this is to destroy viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances that can harm the body. Hence, this system is also a part of the immune system.

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body but their largest clusters are found in the neck, armpits, and the groin. The ones in the groin are also called the inguinal lymph nodes. These nodes are very small so even if they form dense clusters, they can’t be felt. However, when they swell, they can start being noticeable. Swollen lymph nodes in groin can be pressed on and as already mentioned, can signal an underlying problem.

When the nodules in the groin swell, it may be caused by an injury, an infection, or a tumor in or within the surrounding area. Now, bear in mind the injury or infection doesn’t have to be directly in the groin. You may have an injury or infection in the foot or leg and the nodes in your groin may swell. Infection in the genitals may also cause the condition. Having said that, the possibilities of lymphoma, melanoma, or testicular cancer cannot be easily ruled out.

Among the common causes of swollen nodules in the groin as well as other areas in the body are the following:

  • Viral infections like mumps, strep throat, measles, chicken pox, and ear infection.
  • Immune system problems like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV.
  • Tuberculosis, cat scratch fever, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis.
  • Medications and some immunizations like the one for malaria.
  • Leukemia

Swollen lymph nodes in groin are located above either side of the sex organ just at the lowest part of the abdomen. When you notice you have the condition, it is necessary to see the doctor. He or she will be the one to diagnose the underlying cause and suggest proper treatment. When the doctor suspects cancer, a biopsy would be imperative to make certain. From there, you will be guided on what course of treatment to take.

Lymph Nodes in Neck

The lymph nodes in the neck aren’t the only ones in the body. Lymph nodes may be found all over the body. Their primary function is to catch and filter foreign chemicals that enter the body so that you do not become ill. Having said that, lymph nodes are an important aspect of the body’s immune system. Your biological soldiers—white blood cells—are kept in them.

Let’s look at some of the reasons cervical lymph nodes enlarge.

Common illnesses such as sore throats, colds, tonsillitis, strep throat, and TB can all cause the disease. It’s also possible that bacterial and viral illnesses play a role. Swelling can also be caused by epiglottitis, an inflammation of the flap at the base of the tongue.

Sexually transmitted illnesses can induce enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck. People with syphilis, HIV, and AIDS, for example, can develop a problem. Ear infections, acne, impetigo (a contagious skin infection), gum disease, and sinus difficulties are all examples of infections that can cause complications.

Swollen nodes can be a sign of a variety of malignancies. Lymphoma, oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, leukaemia, and Hodgkin’s disease, for example, can all cause inflamed lymph nodes.

When certain nodules behind your ears, beneath your chin, or in the upper region of your neck begin to bulge, you’ll know your lymph nodes are swollen. Although they aren’t unpleasant, knowing them are present might be unsettling. The skin around the affected region may also be red.

The therapy for swollen lymph nodes in the neck varies based on the reason. If, for example, an infection is the source of the swelling, the infection must be treated. They should be able to return to normal after the therapy. If the swelling does not seem to improve, the reason must be something else, and you should consult your doctor.

What are the Causes of Lymphoma?

There’s not a single definite cause for lymph node cancer. However, there are factors which have been observed to increase the risk of having it.  Some of them are the following:

  • Having autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Weak immune system as the case of people with HIV or AIDS. They are 50 to 100 times more prone to having lymph node cancer.
  • Taking meds which stifle the safe framework.
  • Gastritis or stomach ulcers caused by H.pyelori, a kind of bacteria.
  • Having any of these viruses:
    • Epstein Barr virus (EBV),
    • HTLV-1, or
    • HHV-8.

What Is Symptoms of Lymph Node Cancer?

The most noticeable and earliest sign of lymphoma is the appearance of lump or lumps in the neck, armpits, abdomen, or groin.  You can discover them yourself or during your visit to the doctor for a routine checkup.

You may also notice some red patches on the surrounding area of the inflamed nodes.  Nausea, vomiting, coughing, breathlessness, and abdominal pain can also be some of the symptoms of the cancer.

It is crucial to be knowledgeable about lymph node cancer symptoms especially when you are suspecting of having them. Frightening as it may be, nothing beats knowing what you’re dealing with. This way, you can take appropriate steps to make things better and of course, live longer.

Both cancers manifest the same symptoms and they are the following:

Inflamed Nodules

Inflamed nodules are one of the most and earliest noticeable symptoms of lymphoma. It involves the engorgement of the individual lymph glands. In areas where the nodules are near to the surface of the skin such as the sides of the neck, armpits, and groin, the bumps may be physically felt. When you press on, you may feel that they are hard and solid.

Although not all swelling of lymph nodes should be considered as one of the lymph node cancer symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor about it. After all, he or she is the only person who can help you figure out the truth. If the inflammation is caused by another disorder, then that disorder must be dealt with too. Otherwise, your health condition may be in peril.


During the early stage of lymphoma, the swollen nodules may feel tender. The tenderness may increase and even translate to pain after drinking an alcoholic beverage. When the cancer progresses, the lymph nodes located in the abdominal area can make the spleen painful too. When this happens, you may start to always feel full and the abdomen may also feel tender. Naturally, the pain would escalate as time goes by and you don’t do anything about it.

Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss

Subsequently, loss of appetite and weight loss will occur as lymphoma advances. However, both can also be manifestations of other medical disorders. Therefore, it is best to see your doctor and undergo thorough examination (including blood tests, X-rays, and biopsies) to make sure of what truly is the underlying cause of the condition.


Other Symptoms

Some patients may also start itching. When the lymph glands in the chest are already affected by the cancer, the person may start to cough and feel chest pains too. Finally, other lymph node cancer symptoms may include fatigue, lethargy, night sweats, chills, and low-grade fever.

Aside from the mentioned common symptoms, some lymphoma patients may develop “B symptoms” and these are the following:

  • Night sweats
  • Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit that comes and goes especially at night time
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin without any obvious rash

Of course, having these signs does not automatically mean you have lymphoma.  However, if you have been having them for extraordinarily long, say, a couple of weeks, then it wouldn’t hurt to see your doctor.

What are the Diagnosis available to you?

When being checked for lymph node cancer, the doctor would often perform these tests: physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsies.

During the physical exam, the doctor will check your lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, and groin.  He or she will also check whether your spleen or liver is enlarged. As he or she is doing these, he or she would also ask about any recent infections you may have had as well as the condition of your overall health.

The blood tests would help rule out infections as well as detect the presence of any cancer cells.

Imaging tests, on the other hand, will make any inflammation of the lymph nodes more visible.

Finally, a biopsy would confirm whether the bulging nodule is truly a sign of lymphoma.

When the specialist determined you to have lymph hub malignant growth, the person will quickly suggest the best treatment that you should go through. As malignant growths have stages, the treatment course would rely upon how exceptional your case is. The strategies accessible for battling lymphoma are chemotherapy, radiation treatment, bone marrow relocate, and organic reaction modifier treatment.