The Relationship Between Lymph Nodes and Cancer

Many of us have heard the term “lymph node”, but not many of us understand specifically what their purpose is. These nodes are integral to the function of our body and it’s good to know specifically why they are so important. For any questions regarding this issue, or for a lymph node biopsy in Houston, contact Breast Institute Houston to find out more.

What Are Lymph Nodes?

Despite often being tied to cancer, it is important to know that lymph nodes are separate and are crucial to the health of our bodies. A part of the lymphatic system, lymph nodes act like filters and trap bacteria, viruses, and other waste that can cause infection. These lymph nodes are scattered throughout the body and fight infection to maintain our body’s health. It is like having an army to fight bacteria in your body because the nodes are all connected via lymph vessels that carry clear fluid to help battle infections. This fluid brings nutrients to the infected cells and carries away any harmful products causing the problem.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

According to the American Cancer Society, “when there is a problem, such as infection, injury, or cancer, the node or the group of lymph nodes in that area may swell or enlarge as they work to filter out the ‘bad’ cells.” It is important to note that just because you have a swollen lymph node, does not immediately mean that it is cancer.

There are a lot of other reasons besides cancer that the lymph nodes may swell; essentially, any type of infection or virus can cause it. Things like strep, mono, and even a normal cold can cause inflammation in the nodes. Swollen lymph nodes, however, do tell you that something is not right and that you should consider a lymph node biopsy in Houston to make sure that everything is okay.

How Can I Tell If I Have A Swollen Lymph Node?

Fortunately, you may be able to spot swollen lymph nodes quickly since often they can be related to other symptoms. For example, ear pain or an enlarged lymph node near your ear can be an indicator of an ear infection or cold. Additionally, knowing common areas to look out for will help signify if you have swollen lymph node. The experts at the American Cancer Society state that common areas for lymph nodes are often found in the neck, groin, and underarm area. To ensure that your lymph node health is of the utmost priority, it is important to meet with the experts at the Breast Institute Houston for your lymph node biopsy in Houston.

How Does Cancer Infiltrate the Lymph Nodes?

Also known as lymphoma, cancer that originates in the lymph nodes is one way that cancer can occur. The second way that cancer can get into the lymph nodes is by spreading there from a different part of the body, which is more common. The reason that this is more common is because the cancer cells can travel through the body via the lymph system and blood. Because the nodes are all connected via the lymph vessels, and their unique design to fight off infections, viruses, and bacteria, their main function is to target trouble areas in the body and try to fix it. This may cause the spread of cancer because the lymph vessels are programmed to carry away the infected toxins to the nodes to be eradicated.

Lymph Node Biopsy in Houston

It is important for anyone suffering from frequent lymph node swelling to get checked out. Also, if your lymph nodes are swollen and you show no other signs of an illness, a lymph node biopsy in Houston may be needed. Contact Dr. Miltenburg at Breast Institute Houston to schedule an appointment today.

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