Swollen lymph nodes in children: When to seek care

0

 Although swollen lymph nodes (also known as swollen glands) are usually a sign of an infection or inflammation, they can, very infrequently, be a sign of cancer or a rare disorder.

Rachael Grace, MD, and Christopher Weldon, MD, PhD, co-directors of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center’s Node Assessment Program in Waltham, Mass., offer the following tips for families worried about “lumps and bumps” in their children.

Rachael Grace, MD

Lymph nodes are composed of small clusters of cells, known as lymphocytes, which filter bacteria, toxins, and other non-essential components out of bodily tissues. White blood cells within the lymph nodes fight infection, inflammation, and other diseases, including cancer.

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body, most commonly in the neck, groin, armpit, abdomen, and chest. Any number can be swollen at once, and in several places.

Viruses such as flu, mononucleosis, and the common cold can lead to swollen lymph nodes. Other causes are bacterial – including strep throat, infected cuts, and abscessed teeth – and some are fungal, such as ringworm.

In addition to swelling, your child’s lymph nodes might be red, draining, firm, and/or painful.

Christopher Weldon, MD, PhD

If your child’s symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should take him or her to the doctor. In the Boston area, your child can be evaluated at the Node Assessment Program of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Waltham.

Expert physicians and surgeons in the program can evaluate your child and identify the  next steps for finding the cause of enlarged lymph nodes.

You can schedule an appointment online or call 888-733-4662.  

Comments Sort By Newest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blue Captcha Image
Refresh

*

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
Our favorite @RedSox/@TheJimmyFund memories over the years: https://t.co/US5C0axGY4 What are yours? https://t.co/tucg6q2MaR
Dana-Farber @danafarber
Tomorrow our Kraft Center Blood Mobile will be at the @broadinstitute, 8-3. Give a lifesaving gift to cancer pts: https://t.co/gRq8IJg1Dq

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-442-3324

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

Republish our posts on your blog

Interested in sharing one of our stories on your blog? Feel free to republish this content! We just ask that you credit Dana-Farber, link to the original article, and refrain from making edits that change the original context. Questions? Email the editors at insight_blog@dfci.harvard.edu.

All content in these blogs is provided by independent writers and does not represent the opinions or advice of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or its partners.