2 doctors weighed in:
Why do lymph glands become swollen?
2 doctors weighed in

Dr. Mila McManus
Family Medicine
1 doctor agrees
In brief: Infection, cancer
Lymph nodes swell when they 'catch' a virus or bacteria.
Immune cells multiply to fight the infx, causing swelling of the node(s). U can have 1 swell without other symptoms of illness. If it persists > 2-3 wks, get checked out. If a node is painful, it's more likely due to infx than something like cancer. The nodes 'catch' cancer cells that multiply & enlarge the ever-growing nodes.

In brief: Infection, cancer
Lymph nodes swell when they 'catch' a virus or bacteria.
Immune cells multiply to fight the infx, causing swelling of the node(s). U can have 1 swell without other symptoms of illness. If it persists > 2-3 wks, get checked out. If a node is painful, it's more likely due to infx than something like cancer. The nodes 'catch' cancer cells that multiply & enlarge the ever-growing nodes.
Dr. Mila McManus
Dr. Mila McManus
Thank
Dr. Michael Miller
Wound care
In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Dr. Michael Miller
Dr. Michael Miller
Thank
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