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Lymph Nodes

Even the smallest person can change the course of history.

J.R.R. Tolkien

What are lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures distributed throughout the body, part of the lymphatic system. They act as filters for lymph fluid, which carries waste, bacteria, and other harmful substances away from tissues and back into the bloodstream.

What causes swollen or enlarged lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes can become swollen or enlarged due to various reasons, including infections (bacterial, viral, or fungal), autoimmune disorders, cancers such as lymphoma, and sometimes as a reaction to medications.

What are the symptoms of swollen or enlarged lymph nodes?

Symptoms of swollen or enlarged lymph nodes typically include:

  • Visible or palpable swelling in the affected area (most commonly in the neck, armpits, or groin)

  • Tenderness or pain in the swollen area

  • Redness and warmth around the swollen node

  • Other symptoms depending on the underlying cause, such as fever, fatigue, sore throat, or unexplained weight loss.

How to treat swollen or enlarged lymph nodes?

Treatment for swollen lymph nodes depends on the underlying cause:

  • Infections may require antibiotics, antiviral medications, or anti-fungal treatments.

  • Inflammatory conditions might be managed with anti-inflammatory medications or immune-suppressing drugs.

  • Cancerous lymph nodes may necessitate chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these treatments.

  • Supportive care measures like rest, adequate hydration, and pain management can also help alleviate symptoms.

 

It's important to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a pediatric surgeon to assess the specific circumstances of the swollen or enlarged lymph nodes in the pediatric patient. They will provide appropriate treatment recommendations based on their expertise and the individual situation.

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