Swollen neck lymph nodes are enlarged lymph nodes in the neck area and under the chin. Lymph nodes are very small clusters of immune cells that function as part of the body’s immune system. There are more than 600 lymph nodes throughout the body, but the ones most frequently enlarged or swollen are the lymph nodes in the neck, under the chin, in the armpits, and in the groin. Swollen neck lymph nodes can occur in any age group or population, but generally occur most often in children.
Your body relies on the lymphatic system to fight off germs, infections, and abnormal substances such as cancer cells. Lymph nodes are an important part of your body’s immune system. Swollen neck lymph nodes can result from infection, malignancy and autoimmune disorders. Swollen neck lymph nodes are also known as lymphadenitis, lymphadenopathy, swollen nodes, or swollen glands.
Learn more about symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ›
You may have just one type of treatment or a combination. Different types of treatment have different goals. Here are the most common types of treatment for lymphoma and their goals.
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Watchful waiting. When a lymphoma is slow-growing, your doctor may first suggest watchful waiting instead of treatment. In this case, the goal is to avoid the side effects of treatment until absolutely necessary. If you decide to watch and wait, you will see your doctor several times a year to get a physical exam, to have your blood counts checked, and to have your doctor check on any symptoms you may have. This may include getting CT scans.
There is really no way to know for sure if you're going to get non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Certain factors can make you more likely to get it than another person. However, having one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean you will get lymphoma. In fact, you can have all the risk factors and still not get it. Or you can have no known risk factors and still get it.
Some risk factors are out of your control, such as age or ethnicity. However, you do have control over some risk factors, such as exposure to certain infections.
If you agree with any of the following bolded statements, you may be at an increased risk for lymphoma. Each time you agree with the statement, ask yourself if you are doing all you can to control that risk factor. If you have several risk factors, especially if they're ones you can't control, learn about the symptoms of lymphoma so that you'll know what to watch for.
Learn more about living with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ›