They shouldn't feel hard or rubbery, and you should be able to move them. The skin over them should not be red, irritated, or warm. And the swelling should go away within a couple of weeks. You should see your doctor if your lymph nodes appear abnormal."
Swollen lymph nodes will feel like soft, round bumps, and they may be the size of a pea or a grape. They might be tender to the touch, which indicates inflammation. In some cases, the lymph nodes will also look larger than usual.
A soft, tender and moveable lymph node usually indicates that it's fighting infection (not surprising at this time of the year). Nodes containing a spread of cancer are usually hard, painless and don't move. Nodes are found in many different parts of the body & any of them can swell if dealing with an infection.
Lymph nodes that are smooth and relatively soft, but slightly enlarged, may be normal and reveal only hyperplasia when biopsied. Enlarged lymph nodes that have an irregular shape and a rubbery, hard consistency may be infiltrated by malignant cells. Tender nodes are suggestive of an inflammatory process.
General swelling of lymph nodes throughout your body. When this occurs, it may indicate an infection, such as HIV or mononucleosis, or an immune system disorder, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Hard, fixed, rapidly growing nodes, indicating a possible cancer or lymphoma. Fever.
Healthy lymph nodes are more rubbery than the surrounding tissue but are not solid like stone. Any lumps on the neck, groin or armpits that are hard, very enlarged, and do not move when pushed may indicate lymphoma or another type of cancer and should be investigated by your GP.
Lymph nodes can swell for a variety of reasons and are considered to be enlarged if they are bigger than 1.5 centimeters in diameter, or slightly larger than a pea. Typically, lymph nodes that are enlarged due to lymphoma are much bigger and can grow to be the size of a grape (or larger).
Healthy lymph nodes are typically pea-sized. You should not normally be able to feel them. Lymph nodes that are just below the skin may be easier to feel when they become swollen as they will become larger.
A lymphoma lump will tend to be painless and feel rubbery when touched. Swollen lymph nodes caused by other conditions like the flu can make your lymph nodes swell and feel tender when touched. A lymphoma lump also tends to be movable under the skin versus hard and unmovable.
A pea-sized lump in the neck is most likely a swollen lymph node and a sign your body is fighting an infection or an allergic reaction. If the lump, also known as a mass, retreats within a week or so and you have no other symptoms, then no medical attention is required.
Lymph nodes are also known as lymph glands. Lymph nodes are found in various parts of the body, including the neck, armpits, and groin. They're linked by lymphatic vessels, which carry lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a clear fluid containing white blood cells (WBCs) and dead and diseased tissue for disposal.
In general, lymph nodes greater than 1 cm in diameter are considered to be abnormal. Supraclavicular nodes are the most worrisome for malignancy. A three- to four-week period of observation is prudent in patients with localized nodes and a benign clinical picture.
Swollen lymph nodes
The most common sign of lymphoma is a lump or lumps, usually in the neck, armpit or groin. These lumps are swollen lymph nodes, sometimes known as 'glands'. Usually, they're painless.
A normal lymph node that's reacting to just an infection is small, it's well-defined and a little rubbery, and usually moves. The lymph nodes that you got to worry about, however ,are going to be the ones that are matted, that are large, more than say maybe a half-inch around and they don't move very well.
Massage your chest to help reduce swelling. This massage will move the lymph fluid from your neck and chest to your underarm lymph vessels and nodes.
Risk factors and associated cancers
Malignancies are reported in as few as 1.1 percent of primary-care patients with swollen lymph nodes, according to a review in American Family Physician.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in infection-fighting cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes. These cells are in the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and other parts of the body.
Superficial inguinal lymph nodes (Figure 4) are located high in the anterior thigh and drain various regions of the legs, abdomen, and perineum. These nodes are often large enough to palpate, even when normal.
Mobile vs. fixed: Mobile lymph nodes are those that can be easily moved, while fixed lymph nodes are stuck to an internal structure. Mobile nodes are generally benign (non-cancerous), while fixed nodes are commonly seen with cancer.
A normal lymph node is small, approximately 3-7 mm, usually spool-shaped, smooth, sharply edged, elastic in consistency, not fused with the skin or underlying tissues and is not painful during palpation. A normal lymph node in the neck is barely perceptible. During palpation they feel like elastic marbles (8).
Bumps that are cancerous are typically large, hard, painless to the touch and appear spontaneously. The mass will grow in size steadily over the weeks and months. Cancerous lumps that can be felt from the outside of your body can appear in the breast, testicle, or neck, but also in the arms and legs.
You may need medical attention for a neck lump if you have the following signs and symptoms: The lump lasts longer than two to three weeks. The lump gets larger. The lump gets smaller but does not completely go away.
Swollen lymph nodes usually just mean your body is working the way it's supposed to. But if a swollen lymph node keeps getting bigger or doesn't resolve on its own within two weeks, get it checked out.