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A 29-year-old female asked:

I noticed i have a swollen lymph on the back of my neck just before the hairline should i be worried? i've had a dry cough since last week with body aches and a sore throat. my cough has calmed down a bit my body aches are gone my throat still hurts a lit

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Arden
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 39 years experience
Are : Are we sure this is a lymph node? An isolated lymph node in the suboccipital area would be unusual unless there were inflammatory/infectious processes of the posterior scalp skin or very rarely spread of skin cancers. Did it appear at the time of your other symptoms or has it possibly been present for some time and you now just noticed it. Sebaceous cysts (blocked oil glands) or small lipomas (fatty tumors-benign) can be mistaken for a lymph node. If it persists beyond 3-4 weeks it would be reasonable to have it looked at. If it remains swollen and tender (not usually a characteristic of a malignant lymph node) a course of appropriate antiobiotics and short term oral steroids wouldn't be inappropriate.
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Dr. Michael Miller
Wound care 38 years experience
Monitoring Centers: Lymphatic system absorbs/carries things too big to go into the arteries/veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. Lymph nodes "taste" the lymph for anything bad like bacteria/viruses/cancers, etc. When it detects a problem, it alerts the immune system and your body reacts. They enlarge in response to the inflammation they create when they react. They shrink when all is well.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


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