Have you ever noticed a swelling in your neck and wondered if it was serious? You’re not alone. In fact, many people experience swollen lymph nodes at some point in their lives. But what’s the difference between a swollen lymph node and a tumor? And when should you see a doctor? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Swollen Lymph Node?
- The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and nodes that helps to rid the body of toxins, wastes, and other fluids. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the lymphatic system.
- They produce and store immune cells, which help to fight infection. Swollen lymph nodes occur when they become enlarged or inflamed in response to an infection or other irritation.
- Swollen lymph nodes can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most often found in the neck, armpits, or groin. In most cases, swollen lymph nodes are nothing to worry about and will resolve on their own. However, if the swelling persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it may be a sign of a more serious condition and warrants medical attention.
What is Tumor?
A tumor is an abnormal growth of cells that have proliferated out of control. Tumors can be either benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not cancerous, meaning they cannot spread to other parts of the body and invade healthy tissue.
- Malignant tumors are cancerous, and they can spread to other parts of the body and invade healthy tissue. Tumors can form in any part of the body, including the brain, skin, lungs, breasts, and colon.
- Tumors can be either slow-growing or fast-growing. Some tumors do not cause any symptoms, while others can cause pain, swelling, and other problems depending on their size and location.
- Tumors are treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The type of treatment depends on the type and stage of the tumor. Tumors can also be monitored with regular imaging tests to check for changes in size or appearance.
Differences between Swollen Lymph Node and Tumor
Swollen lymph nodes and tumors can both cause bumps under the skin. However, there are several key differences between the two conditions. Swollen lymph nodes are usually caused by infection or inflammation, and they are typically found in the neck, armpits, or groin. In contrast, tumors may be benign or malignant, and they can occur anywhere in the body. Swollen lymph nodes are usually rubbery and tender to the touch, while tumors may be hard or soft. Lymph nodes also tend to get smaller when they are treated, while tumors may stay the same size or grow larger. If you notice a lump under your skin, it’s important to see a doctor determine whether it’s a swollen lymph node or a tumor.
Although a tumor is more serious, it is important to know the difference between a swollen lymph node and a tumor. Knowing what you are dealing with can help you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.