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"It's not just a regular swollen lymph node - is it an infection or something else?"

ZocdocAnswersIt's not just a regular swollen lymph node - is it an infection or something else?


My lymph node on my right side is swollen and is affecting my eating, swallowing, my talking and my sleep. It just keeps getting worse. Would this just be an infection? Or something more? I am very confused at this.


Thank you for this question. If a lymph node is so significant that it is affecting your swallowing, eating, talking and other things, then this is a sign that you need to speak with a doctor very soon. There are many different potential causes, and one of these is infection. When a node becomes this big, however, it may be a sign that the infection needs to be treated either with heavy duty antibiotics or perhaps with even something to release the infection, such as a procedure that may be able to help. Often, imaging such as with a CT scan or something similar can potentially help. Because nodes this big can be problematic regardless of what the cause is, they should be diagnosed quickly. In many types of cancer, it is common for the lymph nodes to swell significantly as they help the body to try and stay healthy. There are also other reasons that the lymph nodes can swell, but all of these reasons are generally in response to some sort of assault on the health of the body. Please speak with your doctor soon about your problem, or go to the emergency department quickly to be seen.

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