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What causes swollen lymph nodes in neck?

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Posted on Thu, 10 Dec 2015
Question: Hi, Doctors of Healthcaremagic

My left lymph node at my lower neck is swollen recently. I've been very busy recently, so for the past 2 weeks I had very minimum rest and had a lot of caffeinated drinks while not really watching for my diet. Can this be the cause of the swollen lymph node? Or is it something else. I took a sexual enhancer a week ago and had been very active sexually about a week ago too.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (19 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
another cause has to be sought

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

the answer is no. It's something else. A swollen neck lymph node in a young man is usually caused by an infection. If you do have other signs of infection like sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, etc then you've got the diagnosis. If the swollen node is the sole symptom then more investigation would be required.

A painless enlarged node has to be clinically examined because its consistency can be related to its cause. A hard (like rock) node may be caused by tumors. A softer (like tennis-ball) node can be caused by infections and autoimmune disorders.

The size is important too. Nodes smaller than 2cm in diameter are not clinically important.

The rate of enlargement is similarly important. A rapid enlargement is against a malignant etiology.

If no obvious cause can be identified then further investigation with ultrasound scan of the soft tissues (including the thyroid) may help. Blood tests should be done too. A complete blood count and various inflammatory markers like CRP or ESR, etc

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information or if you'd like to provide more data about your case.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (9 minutes later)
Hi, Dr. Zografakis

Thank you for the response, the node is not very visible, like if I dont specifically mention it to people to look closely they don't even see it. It's not hard, I can barely feel it actually, but I can feel it a bit. And when I sallow, I can kind of feel it a little too, but not too much. It doesn't hurt or irritate me. So far I don't have any other flu symptoms nor do I feel ill. So what should I do.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
it could be normal...

Detailed Answer:
You're welcome!

If the node is painless and small in size then it could be a normal lymph node. You'd better let your doctor assess that. Visit your primary care physician for clinical examination. The assessment of lymph nodes requires some experience and if the abnormality is not evident, it's hard for a patient to evaluate it.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3767 Questions

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What causes swollen lymph nodes in neck?

Brief Answer: another cause has to be sought Detailed Answer: Hello, the answer is no. It's something else. A swollen neck lymph node in a young man is usually caused by an infection. If you do have other signs of infection like sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, etc then you've got the diagnosis. If the swollen node is the sole symptom then more investigation would be required. A painless enlarged node has to be clinically examined because its consistency can be related to its cause. A hard (like rock) node may be caused by tumors. A softer (like tennis-ball) node can be caused by infections and autoimmune disorders. The size is important too. Nodes smaller than 2cm in diameter are not clinically important. The rate of enlargement is similarly important. A rapid enlargement is against a malignant etiology. If no obvious cause can be identified then further investigation with ultrasound scan of the soft tissues (including the thyroid) may help. Blood tests should be done too. A complete blood count and various inflammatory markers like CRP or ESR, etc I hope you find my comments helpful! You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information or if you'd like to provide more data about your case. Kind Regards!