Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are part of the lymph system, which carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymph system is also an important part of the immune system, the body’s defense system against disease. The lymph nodes (sometimes called lymph glands) filter lymph fluid…

Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are part of the lymph system, which carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymph system is also an important part of the immune system, the body's defense system against disease.

The lymph nodes (sometimes called lymph glands) filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymph nodes may be found singly or in groups; they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin, and underarms. Many lymph nodes in the body can't be felt.

When there is a problem in the body, the nearby lymph nodes may become swollen. For example, if a person has a throat infection, the lymph nodes in the neck may swell and become tender.

Cancer can spread through the lymph system.

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Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes are part of the lymph system, which carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The three most common sites of swollen lymph nodes are the neck, armpit, and groin. The lymph system is also an important part of the immune system, the body’s defense system…

Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes and their locations in the body

Lymph nodes are part of the lymph system, which carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The three most common sites of swollen lymph nodes are the neck, armpit, and groin. The lymph system is also an important part of the immune system, the body's defense system against disease.

Current as ofJune 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.