Oops! I Have Lymph Node Growth in My Neck!

By | 20 April 2021

Oops! I Have Lymph Node Growth in My Neck!

It is natural for our patients who have lymph nodes in their neck or in another region to be worried. Because in such a situation, it is thought that this growth that our patients first think of maybe a malignant tumor and say Oops! I Have Lymph Node Growth in My Neck.

However, cancer is not the only cause of lymph node enlargement. Especially about 80% of lymph node growths in the neck area due to non-cancer reasons.

To alleviate your concerns about this, let’s start from the very beginning.

Lymph nodes are organs of our body’s defense system. They are found all over the body. Under normal conditions, the size of the lymph nodes is less than 1 cm. Lymph nodes in the groin up to 2 cm can be considered normal.

The condition, which is defined as lymph node enlargement among people, is called “Lymphadenopathy” in the medical literature.

Lymph node enlargement;

  1. Lymph nodes above 1 cm in diameter in the neck and armpit in the groin and over 2 cm in the groin are not normal, they should be investigated.
  2. It is especially useful to investigate lymph node growths that do not shrink after medication.
  3. Lymph nodes larger than 1.5 cm in the abdominal cavity and in the space within the rib cage and around the heart are evaluated pathologically and must be investigated.

The causes of lymphadenopathy can be grouped under the following main headings:

  1. Infections
  2. Lymph node cancers (lymphoma) and other cancers
  3. Leukemias
  4. Autoimmune (immune system attacks its own body) diseases
  5. Medicines
  6. Rheumatic diseases

Storage diseases (accumulation of some molecules inside the cells that make up the lymph tissue)

If your doctor evaluates the palpable lymph node of abnormal size, in other words pathological, he should make your questioning/examination for all these diseases and request the necessary examinations at the end of the evaluation.

Your doctor will first consider infection as the cause of your growth in the following situations:

  1. Having pain
  2. Emergence recently
  3. Rash on the overlying skin
  4. Visibility of the source of infection (tonsils, adenoid, sinusitis, inside the mouth, etc.)
  5. Soft handling on examination

In the following cases, your doctor might consider cancer as the cause of the growth:

  1. The patient is over 40 years old
  2. Have existed for weeks or months
  3. Being painless
  4. Stick to each other, multiple and rubbery consistency
  5. Again being stiff with each other

Of course, there are exceptions to those written above. Your doctor will definitely review these diagnoses according to your clinical situation.

While evaluating lymph node enlargement;

a. Your doctor should definitely take a detailed history and decide whether lymphadenopathy is pathological or not.

b. If it is evaluated pathologically, the cause should be investigated.

c. If there is no accompanying finding, it is observed for two or three weeks. If your doctor detects findings suggestive of infection, the medication can be started.

D. After 2 – 3 weeks of observation, the lymph node is re-evaluated. If the size remains the same or increases, further investigations should be considered, including removal of the lymph node and examination by the pathology.

Let’s take care of ourselves, therefore, our health. Let’s not forget that; “The one who is healthy means that whoever has hope, who has hope has everything.”


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