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Doctor insights on: How Can I Tell If Something Is A Soft Lymph Node Or A Cyst

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How can I tell if something is a soft lymph node or a cyst?

How can I tell if something is a soft lymph node or a cyst?

Cyst: A cyst is a fluid-filled sac and will be squishy. It will feel sort of like a water balloon. It may shrink and expand depending on the day. A lymph node feels more solid, and has no squish to it. ...Read more

Cyst (Definition)

A cyst is a structure or mass that consists of a cellular lined sac. It is typically filled with fluid but may be filled with solid material. It can be congenital, traumatic, or acquired. They may develop nearly anywhere in the body and usually require complete excision for eradication or they are likely to recur. Fluid filled sacs that are not cellular lined ...Read more


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Can cyst cause pain and swelling of lymph node?

Can cyst cause pain and swelling of lymph node?

Unlikely: 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. ...Read more

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How do a cyst and a swollen lymph node differ?

How do a cyst and a swollen lymph node differ?

Fluid vs solid: A cyst is a fluid-filled sac like structure, usually benign
a swollen lymph node is a solid mass of variable size which could be benign or malignant
depends on size, location and clinical setting. ...Read more

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Swollen lymph node above right collar bone. Is this a cyst or something else?

Swollen lymph node above right collar bone. Is this a cyst or something else?

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. ...Read more

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Difference between cyst and a swollen lymph node?

Difference between cyst and a swollen lymph node?

Unclear question: Cyst is a fluid filled structure and a swollen lymph node may be enlarged due to physiologic response to infections or may be enlarged due to cancer. It may not be feasible to know which one it is just by palpation. ...Read more

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Difference between cyst and a swollen lymph node?

Difference between cyst and a swollen lymph node?

Need to examine: It is not feasible to tell without examination and may require removing the lesion. ...Read more

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Wondering about a cyst that appeared on the kidney which I know can be common in males (its very small), but an enlarged lymph node in same area.

Wondering about a cyst that appeared on the kidney which I know can be common in males (its very small), but an enlarged lymph node in same area.

Needs followup: Yes, the cyst is very common. The enlarged node should not occur from a benign cyst on the kidney. Most commonly that would be from infection, inflammation or cancer. Followup scan is appropriate to make sure it goes away after a few weeks ...Read more

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Cyst near lymph node I'm 18 do doctors only asks for biopsy if it looks suspicious or do they sometimes biopsy regular looking nodes just to be safe?

Cyst near lymph node I'm 18 do doctors only asks for biopsy if it looks suspicious or do they sometimes biopsy regular looking nodes just to be safe?

Try not to biopsy: Usually look at image, wait to see if it grows or changes, and biopsy if persistent or suspicious.
you don't want to biopsy everything, but don't want to miss anything so we try to careful and watchful. Best to discuss with your doctor. ...Read more

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Biopsy ordered for cyst and lymph node in armpit. I'm 18 is this a bad sign?

Biopsy ordered for cyst and lymph node in armpit. I'm 18 is this a bad sign?

Not necessarily: Fairly standard to biopsy any mass in the axilla that persists. Could be a benign cyst, reactive lymph node, or infection. Unfortunately cancer is always in the differential. The other possibilities however are more common. ...Read more

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Will a cyst or a damaged bursa sac under the knee cause a lymph node around the knee to swell?

Will a cyst or a damaged bursa sac under the knee cause a lymph node around the knee to swell?

Infection?: Lymph nodes typically swell near sites of infection. An infected knee bursa could cause nearby lymph nodes to swell. Potential infections should always be evaluated by a physician. ...Read more

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How is a complex sebaceopus cyst different than just a sebaceous cyst? & can it be in the postauricular lymph node?

How is a complex sebaceopus cyst different than just a sebaceous cyst? & can it be in the postauricular lymph node?

Cluster: Usually sebaceous cysts are singular but they can ne multiple or clustered into one larger lesion ---it can be behind the ear but not necessarily in the lymph node. .. ...Read more

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Why would my lymph node not shrink if it isn't cancer? Why would it last for five+ years? Also I have a cyst in the same armpit.

Why would my lymph node not shrink if it isn't cancer? Why would it last for five+ years? Also I have a cyst in the same armpit.

Many reasons: Remember that lymph nodes can enlarge for many reasons such as infections or chronic inflammation. Also, some cancers, such as certain lymphomas, can be present for years (even without therapy) and cause chronic node enlargement. See a doctor for an evaluation. Are you even sure it's a lymph node? ...Read more

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Sometimes when I get painful cysts on my chin or jawline, I'll get a swollen lymph node under my chin. Is this normal?

Sometimes when I get painful cysts on my chin or jawline, I'll get a swollen lymph node under my chin. Is this normal?

Yes: Any infected Acne cyst, boil or carbuncle in your face will trigger swelling of your local lymph nodes where it drains.
Many times your body will take care of it but if persistent and big may require antibiotic therapy and sometimes incision and drainage! ...Read more

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My whole life I've had a lump/ball that moves under jaw line. There's almost like a dent in jaw line too. Nothing is broken, is it a lymph node/cyst?

My whole life I've had a lump/ball that moves under jaw line. There's almost like a dent in jaw line too. Nothing is broken, is it a lymph node/cyst?

See your dentist: It may be nothing, but could also be something serious to be concerned about. Start by seeing your dentist who will take an xray of the area. He/she may also refer you to an oral surgeon for further investigation. Call today! ...Read more

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Will doctor do biopsy if prominent 1.4x1.5cm lymph node shrinks but a 1.4cm cyst doesn't (armpit)? I'm 18

Maybe: Lymph nodes that decrease in size are typically associated with inflammation/infection. Cysts have a different characteristics being fluid filled. She may elect to just monitor the armpit. ...Read more

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I have an enlarged lymph node under my left ear could this be a cyst? And why did it just randomly pop up? How can I make it go away?

I have an enlarged lymph node under my left ear could this be a cyst? And why did it just randomly pop up? How can I make it go away?

Get it checked: Difficult to say why anything like that "pops up" with no reason. There are typically causes of these types of things, and a review of the history with your doctor can help reveal the cause and the solution to the problem. See a doctor soon. ...Read more

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I have a lump in neck on top of coroided artery 2cm. Very soft very moveable. Shrinks and swells depending on day. Is it a cyst or lymph node?

I have a lump in neck on top of coroided artery 2cm. Very soft very moveable. Shrinks and swells depending on day. Is it a cyst or lymph node?

More info: Matt, for us to conclude something, need more background history and need to palpate to assess as to final conclusion. Please have your doctor look at it and then feel it after getting enough information. ...Read more

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Have an abscess on my left nipple went for a mammogram Showed benign lumps and cysts however reactive Lymph node found In auxiliary should I be worri?

Have an abscess on my left nipple went for a mammogram Showed benign lumps and cysts however reactive Lymph node found In auxiliary should I be worri?

Nope: "Reactive" means just what it sounds like...reaction to an infection (old). ..just doing it's job!

Hope this is helpful!

Dr Z ...Read more

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If I have a lymph node or cyst on top of coroided artery right side. Could it cut off the blood flow and cause a blood clot?

If I have a lymph node or cyst on top of coroided artery right side. Could it cut off the blood flow and cause a blood clot?

Carotid body tumor: You might have a mass near neck artery called the carotid. If this is what your doctor told you, then carotid body tumor/mass is the topic. The mass usually forms just behind the artery, right where it separates into its two branches. You should get referred to a vascular specialist. And yes, there are potential complications, as you list. However, the potential is low with vascular specialist. ...Read more

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What's the difference between a lipoma, infected lymph node, and cyst? I have a bump on my neck (left back side) and doc says its one of those 3.

What's the difference between a lipoma, infected lymph node, and cyst? I have a bump on my neck (left back side) and doc says its one of those 3.

Can be hard to tell: Inflamed lumps like you mentioned can be difficult to tell apart clinically. A lymph node that is swollen is usually deeper in the tissue and the surface skin looks normal. A lipoma is usually not inflamed and is soft to touch and often slides around when pushed or manipulated. A cyst is fro a hair follicle and when they rupture are often inflamed and tender. A biopsy may be needed to find out ...Read more

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I have RA and enlarged thymus, had biopsy on mediastinal lymph node showed thymus to probably a benign thymic cyst, then had MRI on it, still waiting?

I have RA and enlarged thymus, had biopsy on mediastinal lymph node showed thymus to probably a benign thymic cyst, then had MRI on it, still waiting?

Pathology: The biopsy is the most important bit - the MRI was likely done just to be super sure. The fact that actual tissue was benign appearing is very reassuring. If you are worried have the slides sent to a referal center for an over-read (its basically the pathologist equivalent to a second opinion). ...Read more

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Mri says nonenhancing cystic structure in right paratracheal region by T3 (liothyronine) veterbrate; may be lymph node or cyst. Meaning? & what dr to see for this?

Mri says nonenhancing cystic structure in right paratracheal region by T3 (liothyronine) veterbrate; may be lymph node or cyst. Meaning? & what dr to see for this?

Family medicine: The doctor who ordered the test should be the one to determine the next steps. You may very well need another scan first. ...Read more