BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuCancer and lymph nodesLymph gland; Lymphadenopathy - cancerLymph nodes are part of the lymph system, a network of organs, nodes, ducts, and vessels that support the body's immune system. Lymph systemThe lymph system is a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The l...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Nodes are little filters throughout the body. The cells in lymph nodes help to destroy infection, such as from a virus, or harmful cells, such as cancer cells. Cancer can spread or start in lymph nodes.How Cancer Gets in the Lymph NodesCancer can start in the lymph nodes. This is called lymphoma. There are several types of lymphomas, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.Non-Hodgkin lymphomaNon-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is cancer of the lymph tissue. Lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, and other organs of the immune system. W...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Cancer cells can also spread to the lymph nodes from a cancer in any part of the body. This is called metastatic cancer. Cancer cells break off from a tumor in the body and travel to an area of lymph nodes. The cancer cells often travel to nodes near the tumor first. How Cancer in Lymph Nodes is FoundNodes swell as they work hard to fight cancer cells.You or your health care provider may feel or see swollen lymph nodes if they are close to the surface of the skin, such as in the neck, groin, or underarms.Keep in mind that many other things also can cause lymph nodes to swell. So having swollen lymph nodes does not mean you definitely have cancer.Swollen lymph nodesLymph nodes are present throughout your body. They are an important part of your immune system. Lymph nodes help your body recognize and fight germ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article When a provider suspects that cancer cells may be present in lymph nodes, certain tests may be performed to detect cancer, such as:Lymph node biopsy Lymph node biopsyA lymph node biopsy is the removal of lymph node tissue for examination under a microscope. The lymph nodes are small glands that make white blood ce...Read Article Now Book Mark Article B-cell leukemia/lymphoma panel B-cell leukemia/lymphoma panelB-cell leukemia/lymphoma panel is a blood test that looks for certain proteins on the surface of white blood cells called B-lymphocytes. The protein...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Other imaging tests What it Means When Cancer is FoundA node can have a small or large amount of cancer cells in it. There are hundreds of nodes throughout the body. Several clusters or only a few nodes may be affected. Nodes near or far from the primary tumor may be affected.The location, amount of swelling, number of cancer cells, and number of nodes affected will help determine the treatment plan. When cancer has spread to lymph nodes, it is in a more advanced stage.The cancer in lymph nodes can be treated with:Surgery Chemotherapy RadiationRemoving Lymph NodesSurgical removal of lymph nodes is called lymphadenectomy. Surgery can help to get rid of the cancer before spreading further.After nodes are removed, fluid has fewer places to go. Sometimes back up of lymph fluid, or lymphedema, can occur.LymphedemaLymphedema is the buildup of lymph in your body. Lymph is a fluid surrounding tissues. Lymph moves through vessels in the lymph system and into the...Read Article Now Book Mark Article When to Call the DoctorCall your provider if you have questions or concerns about swollen lymph nodes or your cancer treatment.Open ReferencesReferencesEuhus D. Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymphadenectomy. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:685-689.Hall JE. The microcirculation and lymphatic system: capillary fluid exchange, interstitial fluid, and lymph flow. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 16.Padera TP, Meijer EF, Munn LL. The lymphatic system in disease processes and cancer progression. Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2016;18:125-158. PMID: 26863922 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26863922/.AllVideoImagesTogA Closer Look Breast cancer(In-Depth)Colorectal cancer(Alt. Medicine)Prostate cancer(In-Depth)Non-small cell lung cancer(In-Depth)Prostate cancer(Alt. Medicine)Breast cancer(Alt. Medicine)Melanoma and other skin cancers(In-Depth)Ovarian cancer(In-Depth)Cervical cancer(In-Depth)Colon and rectal cancers(In-Depth)Talking to your MD Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor Tests for Cancer and lymph nodes Lymph node biopsyLymphangiogramPET scan for breast cancerBronchoscopyRelated Information Review Date: 7/28/2020 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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