Swollen Lymph Nodes




Know Your Nodes


location of lymph nodes



Lymph node pain and swollen lymph nodes, also called lymph glands, can indicate infection or possible signs of breast cancer. The small lymph nodes are immune system cells connected by lymphatic vessels, that filter and carry lymph fluid away from the breast. Breast cancer cells can enter these lymphatic vessels and get into the lymph nodes. It is important to know if this has occurred, as cancer cells entering the lymphatic system can travel and spread. This is to say they have metastasized.


lymph node pain



Swollen lymph nodes can be felt in your armpit, and this is where surgeons can remove nodes from, in order to detect breast cancer and to find out if the cancer has metastasized. Lymph node removal can create swelling of your arm or lymphedema. This can mean that there are not enough nodes in the armpit to process the lymph fluid, and this may make drainage difficult. Lymph node biopsy can help determine the possible spread of cancer. This is called a Sentinel lymph node biopsy.


lymph nodes in neck



Your armpit is not the only location of lymph nodes. Your neck, groin and abdomen are other places. When I am feeling unwell, I often notice tenderness in my lymph glands, especially in my armpit. This discomfort disappears as soon as I have recovered and am feeling fit and well again. During my cycle, I can also experience short term gland discomfort in my armpit. I am sure I am not alone here ladies, am I! Since I try to be aware and proactive with my breast health, I know the tenderness is nothing to be concerned about and is related to my cycle.


lymph node location



If you are worried about your lymph nodes or maybe experiencing lymph node pain, please talk to a medical professional. Having these problems along with nipple discharge, breast rash, breast inflammation or a breast lump, means it is essential that you seek medical attention immediately.



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