Swelling in the neck

Swelling in the neck

Swelling in the neck often causes painic in individuals because of its relatedness to cancer. Moreover this sympton is sometimes noncancerous especially in children, but should still be given full attention. Swells in the neck are mainly due to the enlargement of the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are pea-shaped lumps of tissues that are found all over the body. They play an important role in our immune system, fighting foreign bodies that might cause infection.  Usually the swells indicate that your immune system is battling against a disease or an infection.

Swellings maybe caused by

  • bacteria or viral infections of the throat, tonsillitis, common cold, chickenpox
  • parasites and fungal infection of the skin
  • malignant cancer which spreads to nearby lymph gland such leukaemias, breast cancer, non-Hodgkins or Hodgkin's lymphoma however the enlargement of such lymph nodes develop slowly, painless, hard, not movable and not tender
  • contact with drugs and chemicals
  • HIV , tuberculosis, mouth and tooth infection, arthritis, ear infection
  • Fever and night sweats

Normally, when the illness is treated the lymph node goes back to its normal shape. Over-counter pain relievers such as paracetamol and Ibuprufen, frequent intake of fluids might help relieve symptons.  See your  doctor, if glands swell for no apparent reason or persist after you recover from the illness. A medical doctor might conduct a blood test, X-ray or biospy to be able to diagnose the cause.

Causes due to bacteria infections will need antibiotic treatment


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