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Swollen Lymph Nodes by Jaw Line

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Hello doctor,

My name is Shannon and I am 19 years old. I developed a swollen lymph node 3-4 days ago on my left side near the end of my jaw and a bit below my ear lobe. Another lymph node below it swelled a day or two after the first one swelled up. I do not feel sick. I only have a runny nose which I am accustomed to. I had a sore throat for one day which probably happened because I overused my voice. The first lymph node is hard and painless. The second one is more tender and it feels uncomfortable when pressure is applied. I would say the lymph nodes are swelled to the size of a bean or so. My doctor's office is closed tomorrow and I'm extremely concerned that this could be cancerous. Please ease my worries Sad
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replied March 12th, 2013
Especially eHealthy
Shannon,

The chance of this being cancer is extremely, extremely low.

As they say in medical school, "when you hear hoofbeats, look for a horse, not a zebra" (or purple unicorns). In other words, common things occur commonly. Swollen lymph nodes are much more likely to be due to some inflammation, than to a malignant process.


Any type of inflammation or slight infection is enough to cause swelling of the nodes in the cervical chains. So, a pimple or an infected/inflammed hair follicle in the scalp, or a sinus infection, a sore throat, some inflammation of the ear, and so on, all can cause enlargement of the nodes. And, what teenager does not have some type of inflammation/infection in the head and neck area?

Lymph nodes' purpose are to filter out debris. The lymph fluid picks up dead cells, bacteria, and the like, brings it to a node on the way back to the body core, and the nodes filter out the junk.


Also, it is well known, that if a lymph node is repeatedly palpated (pressed on) it can cause the node to enlarge. So, continuing to check on the size of a node, over and over, can actually cause it to get bigger.


So, if you start to feel ill or you develop more significant discomfort in the cervical lymph node chain, you might want to see your physician.


Good luck.
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replied May 25th, 2013
Re: Swollen Lymph Nodes by Jaw Line
Michelle112612 wrote:
Hello doctor,

My name is Shannon and I am 19 years old. I developed a swollen lymph node 3-4 days ago on my left side near the end of my jaw and a bit below my ear lobe. Another lymph node below it swelled a day or two after the first one swelled up. I do not feel sick. I only have a runny nose which I am accustomed to. I had a sore throat for one day which probably happened because I overused my voice. The first lymph node is hard and painless. The second one is more tender and it feels uncomfortable when pressure is applied. I would say the lymph nodes are swelled to the size of a bean or so. My doctor's office is closed tomorrow and I'm extremely concerned that this could be cancerous. Please ease my worries Sad


I don’t think it is cancerous, but you need to talk to a medical person. You may need antibiotics it sounds like your glands are swollen because you have a viral infection going on. Your lymph glands are the cleaners and when overloaded do swell.
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