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Differences Between Swollen Lymph Node and Tumor

Swollen Lymph Node vs Tumor

It would probably be best if we talked about a little of the basics about our body before we start out with the main topic of this article. In our body, we have several systems that take care of many different purposes, and the topic for this article would tackle a little about the immune system and about lymph nodes.

Let us start with lymph nodes and what one needs to know about them. Your body has several lymph nodes throughout it. These lymph nodes are bean-shaped, and they are also glands. Glands are very important in the body, as each type of gland serves a specific purpose. Some glands in the body release something like sweat, tears, saliva, and many more. There are also some glands that release hormones. Some glands, on the other hand, are part of your immune system and when these types of glands release something, we call them substances. These help your body fight illnesses or any disease that it encounters. This is why, if you feel sick, say for example, you have a bad cough or a cold, when you check on the glands located by the sides of your neck, they would be swollen. These are the little ball-like glands that you get to feel. This means that your immune system is doing its work. Should your lymph nodes be swollen, there could be several explanations to this, and one is that you are going through a sickness that your immune system is trying to ‘fix’.

What are swollen lymph nodes?

Now that we know lymph nodes fight help in fighting infections, swelling means that our body’s immune system could be fighting a certain infection, illness, bug, or a certain disease. There are common conditions that make your lymph nodes swell, and these include:

Infection – which can be classified as common and uncommon infections
Immune system disorders

There are a lot more information about certain areas where your lymph nodes are located, which include the most common: glands on either side of the neck, under the jaw or behind the ears; the glands in the armpits; the lymph nodes in the groin area; and the glands that are located above the collarbone. What’s more, with more reading from several sources, when any of the lymph nodes located in any of these common areas swell, it may help you understand what your body is experiencing and know how to deal with it.

What is a tumor?

A tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue. The biggest misconception is that a tumor is tantamount to cancer. It isn’t. There are many types of tumors. Tumors can be benign. It can be pre-malignant. It can be malignant. Malignant means cancerous. To better define what a tumor is: it is a lump or swelling. This is also probably why a swollen lymph node can be synonymous with a tumor … which to many can be thought of as cancer.

Differences between swollen lymph nodes and tumor:

A swollen lymph node can be anything simple like an infection, but it can also be a dangerous and risky swelling, which can be cancerous.
A tumor is a swollen mass that can be two things: it will not pose any threat if it is benign; it can be dangerous if it is cancerous.
A tumor can be determined if it is cancerous or not through laboratory test called ‘biopsy’. Your doctor would be the one to inform you if a lump is a tumor and would have to be biopsied.
A lymph node can swell due to your body’s response to bacteria, fungal, and viral infections.

It is always best to consult your physician when the swelling does not go away after several weeks. The indicated common areas of your lymph nodes noted above are good indications when they are swollen that your body is fighting an infection. If you notice any mass other than these common areas, and you get to notice that such mass does not go away, it would be best to visit your physician.

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